BLOG – Women Make up 20 Percent of The SCI Community

Psychologists say females have separate needs

Amid all the social concerns about women, it’s important to remember about the equal treatment for women with a spinal cord injury (SCI). That’s because 20 percent of all injuries resulting in spinal cord injury happen to women. And since that number is so much lower than men’s injuries, ladies treatment often gets lumped into similar treatments men receive.

But treating men the same as women isn’t always practical. Though many of the physiological and medical needs are similar, females have specific needs for paralysis separate from those of males.

Heather Taylor, PHD, Psychologist & Director of Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Research, TIRR

Heather Taylor, PhD

Heather Taylor, PhD

Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, TX says though reproductive needs may seem the most obvious and even most pressing, women with paralysis are unique. “It’s important that women recognize their individuality; they are different,” Taylor says. You can see Taylor talking about women with spinal cord injury by clicking here. “what-about-women?” “They process healing differently, as well as any depression related to their injury. Even adjustments and the anatomical manner in which their bodies must conform to learning the new normal of bowel and bladder and personal hygiene is vastly different from men.” Taylor also reminds us that women have their own unique strengths when it comes to living life with paralysis – no matter what level their injury is. “Women often can hone those strengths to improve their quality of life.”

You can see and hear more of Heather Taylor talking about the psychological realities of spinal cord injury by clicking here.

Do you know a woman with a spinal cord injury that thinks they could use some female differentiation? Maybe you are a woman with paralysis that has a success story to share. Or a family member of one? Leave your comments below. (They totally help others :))

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