Leaving the Spinal Unit
What to expect
You have spent several months in the spinal unit and now it is time to return home. This can be an exciting and anxious time. You may not return home straight away especially if your house is undergoing modifications. You may stay in a motel or other accommodation until your home is ready.
You may also be worried about returning to work or study (if this is possible) as well as being back at home and picking up from where things were before your injury or impairment. It may also be a worrying time for your family/whānau who also will need to adjust to having you home and adjusting to life in a wheelchair.
Even though you will have to rely on others at the initial stages of recovery, you will regain independence. Preparation is important when leaving the spinal unit as it will make for a smoother transition.
Discharge plan – The spinal unit will discuss with you your care plan, equipment needs, goals, and objectives, and any immediate home modifications required.
Caregiver services – You may need to have carers to help with your personal needs when you go home. There are a number of agencies that provide carers, your ACC Recovery Partner or Ministry of Health caseworker will be able to provide information on what is available. You can also contact the New Zealand Spinal Trust by phone: 03 383 6881 or email
Our Peer and Whānau Support team are individuals who have experienced a spinal cord injury and lived through a similar journey. The team is with you from the very beginning to support you, your family/whānau, and friends, to help you regain your independence, whatever that may look like.