A report has recently highlighted that one in five young people with serious spinal injuries are discharged from hospital straight into a residential or nursing home for the elderly.
Tragically, a lack of appropriate housing and care options means that young people with spinal injuries are not being given the specialist care they need. In some cases this is leading to their conditions deteriorating.
One study showed that when young people are placed in an unsuitable care home because there are no other options this has a detrimental effect on their mental health. Some young people who took part in the study suffered severe depression including suicidal thoughts and 20 per cent had attempted to take their own lives. Research has shown that on average young people who are discharged into unsuitable care homes remain there on average for two years.
It’s reported that 1,200 people suffer from a spinal injury every year with half of these people under the age of 30. Of those, 240 people under the age of 30 end up in care homes. As if suffering a spinal injury at a young age is not hard enough to deal with these young people are being put through further suffering because of a lack of accessible housing, specialist carers and a lack of grants for building work or specialist equipment.
Drastic changes are needed to ensure that spinal injury patients are given adequate treatment that is suitable for their needs.