Research from the UK-based Loughborough University indicates that living in a care home may have a negative impact on individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). According to study leader Brett Smith, PhD, SCI patients’ lives may be put at risk by unsuitable care and facilities, and by suicidal feelings stemming from poor quality of life. Smith was reportedly commissioned by the spinal injury charity Aspire to evaluate the impact of housing SCI patients in care homes for older adults.

Smith reports that the study encompassed extensive interviews with 20 SCI patients across the UK living or who have lived in care homes. The study’s results spotlight a variety of risks to SCI patients, including pressure sores, infections, and broken bones. 

The results also indicate that many patients experience a reduced quality of life as a result of their lack of independence, damage to relationships, isolation, and boredom. A lack of specialist knowledge among staff also played a role in the heightened risks for SCI patients, the results note.

The University emphasizes that despite government efforts to increase employment rates among individuals with disabilities, if SCI patients continue to be housed in care homes for longer periods of time, it may diminish the patient’s ability to gain employment.

Source: Loughborough University