Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Independence matters

Joseph Mathis, who has a C-6 spinal cord injury, is shown in this video working out to build up his muscles so he can do independent transfers and push a manual wheelchair part of the time. A staff member at Shepherd hospital discusses what goes into his rehab to do these independent tasks. The video also shows the Vitaglide, a new piece of exercise equipment that many of my friends and I do wish gyms would carry. It works for people in wheelchairs and helps build up many of the muscles needed. It's unfortunate that, as we all debate the high costs of medical care, we offer so few opportunities for people with disabilities to exercise independently toward goals that would keep down and lower the cost of their care outside of medical settings, which would be more cost effective.

I know personally how important it is to attain and hold onto as much independence as possible. Being able to do a few things can make an enormous difference not only in your quality of life, but the amount of caregiving required. I wish Joseph all the best as he moves toward his future.


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