What to Buy for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Chocolates and teddy bears make great gifts. But if you’re shopping for a loved one with a spinal cord injury, don’t be afraid to give something practical too. Here are some tips on gift-giving for your loved one with SCI.

Get educated

The adjustment period after injury is a difficult time. You’re being inundated with information on things that you never knew existed, like autonomic dysreflexia, while also reeling from the emotional trauma of the injury. The more you understand about your loved one’s injury and their care, the better. In addition to medical providers, look to online resources like The Shepherd Center and communities like iPush, our foundation.

As your knowledge grows, it’ll become easier for you to find products that help your loved one live a healthy, independent lifestyle.

Practical gifts lighten their financial load

Living with SCI often takes a financial toll. Bills for medical care, home and car modifications and supplies for urological and bowel care can add up quickly. It’s a lot to take on. People living with SCI can never have too many disposable items, like catheters and skin wipes, so you can help ease their burden by buying those items for them.

Help them try something new

You can also help your loved one with SCI as they’re trying to find the right products for their needs. Ask them if they’ve been thinking about trying a new brand or type of product. You know how nerve-racking it can be to pay money to try something new, not knowing whether or not it’s going to work out. Helping your loved one hone in on the medical product that’s right for them is a great way to show that you care.

It’s all about presentation

When it comes to practical gift-giving, presentation is everything. Think about putting together a gift basket with a mixture of practical and “traditional” gifts. Include a humorous card that acknowledges that your gift isn’t what they’d normally expect, but you wanted to think outside of the box.

It may seem uncomfortable at first, but remember, your loved one will appreciate that you’re thinking of the big picture. Besides, you know how the old saying goes: it’s the thought that counts.

Have you ever bought a practical gift for someone with a spinal cord injury? Tell us about it in the comments!


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