The impact of housing spinal injured people in care homes

Every four hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. 20% of these people will be discharged from hospital in to a care home, regardless of their age, because they do not have housing in the community that meets their new needs.

People have been telling us for years that living in a care home has a devastating impact on the lives of spinal cord injured people. Lives are put at risk by unsuitable care and facilities, and by suicidal feelings due to poor quality of life.

In order to highlight this issue, Aspire commissioned research from Loughborough University to examine the effect of the common practice of forcing people with spinal cord injury to live in care homes. Even after hearing years of complaints, we were still shocked by the findings. Those who took part reported physical health problems such as pressure sores, infections and even broken bones, whilst the psychological risks include chronic depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts. Some participants sadly even made attempts to end their own lives.

The research findings confirm that it is completely unacceptable to house a spinal injured person in a care home. Everyone has the right to live independently, and more needs to be done to provide accessible housing options in the community.

Read the full research report

A response from Andy Walker

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