Spinal & Head Injury Support

If you are needing these services you have most likely had a serious injury and will need more intensive and longer term support.

The most common causes of a spinal or head injury are car or motorcycle accidents, falls such as off your bike, diving into shallow water, a sports related injury. Sometimes you will be needing support 24 hours, 7 days a week and we are well set up to provide these services.

Spinal & Head Injury Support

The Access team of highly skilled staff will work in partnership with you and your family and whanau to support you to live the best life possible.

Your first point of contact with Access will most likely be a visit from us either in the spinal or head injury unit or at your home. We understand that this can be a traumatic time for you and your family, whanau and we take this into consideration when we are meeting with you and working with you to set up your services. We know that a one size fits all approach will not work and we recognise that your injury may be life changing. We will embrace a holistic approach taking into account your individual circumstances - not just your health and well being but also your lifestyle, family and friends, social connections.

We work with people from all walks of life and we have seen some amazing recoveries through sheer perseverance and overcoming the trauma of the injury. Here are some real life examples of situations our clients are facing:

  • A man who fell off his bike and was paralysed from the neck down – within nine months of coming home and with a mix of his and his wife’s determination and support from the Access team he is now taking small steps.
  • A young man who was paralysed as a result of a rugby accident who initially needed 24 hour support from the Access team but over two years he, with encouragement from his support workers and parents, gradually got his head around the seriousness of his injury but also the potential he had and transitioned from wheelchair to walker to now being a New Zealand Wheel Black.
  • One young man who broke his neck told us that he felt very fortunate to be able to walk with a walker out of the spinal unit. We support this client in the morning with his personal cares and breakfast as he prepares for a busy day. Through a commitment to his rehabilitation and building his strength he continued to improve he is now able to drive a modified vehicle to visit friends. He feels he has a life again now.
  • A woman whose broken neck has come later in life. She needs 24 hour, seven day a week support. When we first met this woman she was very anxious about going home and after one of our nurses spent some time with her learning about her hopes, dreams and fears, it was decided that they would put a team of female support workers in to support her. This has enabled her to overcome many of her fears about returning home. She is now able to prepare her own meals and because the service and the team are able to be flexible she is supported to get back into her community by going shopping and carrying out everyday tasks. This, she tells us, allows her to feel much better about herself. With some help and encouragement from her team she has recently had some early discussions with her employer about a possible return to work program.

The Access ACC team are well positioned to be responsive to requests outside the square. We have, on a number of occasions supported a person’s discharge from the spinal unit by setting up one or two “home leave trials”. Along with the nurse, one of our support workers will start to get to know you while you are in the unit. That support worker will then become your main support worker for that first trip home – sometimes that is to your own home and sometimes it is to a motel unity while modifications are being completed in your home. Access will support you in every way that you need through nursing skill, support workers and even supporting you on the trips between the spinal unit and home. Our role is to keep you safe so that you enjoy the home-stay as much as you possibly could.

Our services can include:

  • Working with you to identify what is important to you
  • Assistance with personal care services such as bathing, dressing and grooming
  • Assistance with housework, meals, shopping
  • Supporting you to do exercises given to you by the physiotherapist
  • Assistance with visiting friends, accessing social activities
  • Reducing or working with you to reduce your anxiety about your injury or the support you may need
  • Supporting you on a home leave trial while you are still in the spinal unit

Sometimes you will need specialist health professional support such as nursing, occupational therapy or physiotherapy and we can help you with this.

We will be an integral part of your journey towards your path to as much independence and living the best life possible.