Quadriplegics are persons paralyzed in both upper and lower body. Their mobility impairment can be a result of various neurological disorders, including but not limited to spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, ALS, polio, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
To help you understand issues faced by quadriplegics in our community, we are launching a video project to introduce you to some of the individuals we serve. We invite you to meet San Anselmo Sue.
The well-being and independence of quadriplegics are challenged on a daily basis because of their extensive healthcare needs and extraordinary dependence on others. They must rely on personal care attendants for activities of daily living, which most people take for granted. They need assistance for change of position, eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, domestic chores, and sometimes even breathing. Constant vigilance is necessary to avoid numerous life-threatening complications such as respiratory problems, urinary tract infections, and skin breakdown.
The cost of attendant care is beyond the reach of most individuals and families. Insurance coverage for long-term home care is expensive and usually inadequate. Quadriplegics relying on job disability or retirement benefits often fall through the cracks because they cannot afford the attendant care they need, yet do not qualify for social assistance. For those who can meet the stringent income guidelines, assistance is available through In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)* to hire home care workers. The IHSS wage is generally below market rate, often making it difficult to find suitable workers, and the cap of 283 hours a month is insufficient to meet the needs of someone who may need round-the-clock assistance.
A strong support system and resources to hire skilled and reliable home care workers are a needed to sustain health, family stability and independent activity. When the necessary supports are not available, individuals may experience failing health and isolation. Nursing home placement is usually a last resort.
IN SPIRIT is dedicated to helping quadriplegics in Marin County receive the services they need to successfully live at home and actively pursue their interests and involvement in the community.