FAQ

Remme-Los has 8 rooms and can only accommodate 8 persons.  All rooms are currently occupied.

To apply for accommodation the applicants CV with a photo must be forwarded to remme-los@absamail.co.za and applicant will be placed on a waiting list. Once a room is vacated applicants will be contacted for interviews and a suitable candidate will be awarded the room.

Remme-Los has 2 specialised vehicles with hydraulic hoists.

The word “spinal” means “of the spine”. The spine is made up of the back vertebrae. Your spine compromises 24 ring-shaped vertebrae, each with an osseous body in front. The top 7 vertebrae are the cervical (neck) vertebrae and are numbered C1- C7 (always count from the top). Then follow the 12 thoracic (chest) vertebrae with a rib attached to each of them. These are numbered T1 – T12. The lumbar vertebrae are next, numbered from the top as L1 – L5.

 

The spinal cord is an extension of the brain that carries the messages to and from the brain. Nerves branch out from the spinal cord to the organs, muscles and skin. In doing so, the spinal cord works like a “telephone exchange”. When the spinal cord is damaged, no messages can get past the damaged part of the spinal cord, resulting in the brain no linger communicating (in terms of muscular activity and sensation) with the body parts below the level of injury.

A paraplegic is a person who has complete paralysis of the lower half of the body including both legs, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.

Depending on where the back was injured, the paralysis can affect different parts of the body. Paraplegia is the result of an injury to the spine at the level of the thoracic or lumbar vertebra (injury below C (T or L).  For most people with paraplegia, the legs and usually parts of the torso are paralyzed. Paralysis means that the muscles in the legs, stomach, back, and possibly also the chest, no longer function. The person affected can no longer walk or stand. The paralysis in the legs is often spastic, which means that the muscles sometimes cramp together. Many people with paraplegia have difficulty sitting up straight.

A Hemiplegic (hemiplegia sometimes called hemiparesis) is a person with a condition that affects one side of the body (Greek ‘hemi’ = half). We talk about a right or left hemiplegia, depending on the side affected. It is caused by injury to parts of the brain that control movements of the limbs, trunk, face, etc. This may happen before, during or soon after birth (up to two years of age approximately), when it is known as congenital hemiplegia (or unilateral cerebral palsy), or later in life as a result of injury or illness, in which case it is called acquired hemiplegia. Generally, injury to the left side of the brain will cause a right hemiplegia and injury to the right side a left hemiplegia.

Cerebral palsy—also known as CP—is a condition caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control our ability to use our muscles and bodies. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Often the injury happens before birth, sometimes during delivery, or soon after being born. Physical symptoms typically appear in the first few years of life.   Infants with cerebral palsy are frequently slow to reach developmental milestones such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk. Cerebral palsy occurs in 1 in every 300 children.

 

CP can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild CP may mean a child is clumsy. Moderate CP may mean the child walks with a limp. He or she may need a special leg brace or a cane. More severe CP can affect all parts of a child’s physical abilities. A child with moderate or severe CP may have to use a wheelchair and other special equipment.

Sometimes children with CP can also have learning problems, speech, problems with hearing or seeing (called sensory problems), intellectual differences, and behavioural or emotional challenges.

A quadriplegic is a person who, through illness or injury from C1 – C7, has lost the total or partial use of all his/her limbs. Depending on the level of injury, there can still be some degree of movement in the arms and shoulders. There is also a difference in the functioning of the bladder and digestive tract.

Other physical complications can occur as a result of the injury, e.g. as a result of the paralysis of the chest muscles, the breathing organs can be affected, and lung complications can set in.

To ensure that you are socially acceptable, comfortable and confident in handling your bowl excretions, it is important that you master good eating habits and follow a solid routine.

Diet plays an important role in the prevention of constipation and we recommend that you follow a high fibre diet and drink enough water. This includes fresh fruit, raw vegetables, nuts whole wheat bread and rough cereal like All Bran, oats or Weet Bix. Bran can also be included in cereals.

Most quadriplegics make use of natural laxatives such as Senokots (this is not addictive) and suppositories to ensure regular evacuation of the bowls. It is important to get your system into a regular routine as soon as possible.

 

Everyone is unique. Determine what is the best for you. REMEMBER! Any untimely excretion (stomach/bladder) can lead to embarrassment, but it is not your fault. You have no control. You do however, have control over possible solution – get help as quickly as possible. Keep Imodium at hand for controlling a serious problem.

Diet:

  • Eat three balanced meals daily;
  • Minimize greasy food;
  • Eat food rich in fibre;
  • Avoid sweets, or eat sweets made from natural foods e.g. honey, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • Avoid too much salt;
  • Lower your alcohol intake and
  • Maintain your weight.

A balanced diet will ensure a healthy body which is less inclined to bladder infections, as well as healthy tissue/muscles which will prevent pressure sores.

The following points should be taken into consideration to ensure that the skin is not damaged, and that pressure sores do not form:

  • Don’t ever sit on your wheelchair without the right cushion;
  • Check daily for red marks, blisters or any change of skin colour on your body because that is a sign of the beginning of a pressure sore. Use a mirror. If you can’t help yourself let someone else help you;
  • Avoid the use of warm bottles, heaters and open fires. Don’t ever get into a bath when the hot water is still running and the temperature hasn’t been tested. Because you can’t feel you can burn easily. If you use a hot water bottle make sure that is has a thick cover on;
  • Always make sure that the body parts that can’t feel are not exposed to bumps, scratches or any cuts, as these can damage the skin and cause pressure sores;
  • Always make sure that the skin is clean and dry. Wet skin softens and could lead to the formation of a sore;
  • Make sure that the leg bag is attached correctly. When marks can be seen on the leg, it is too tight.
  • Callipers, shoes and splints must never leave marks on the skin. That happens when they are too tight, have nog been put on correctly, or are too small;
  • Never store any small objects on your wheelchair cushion or between your legs. They can slip underneath you and cause a pressure sore;
  • Request assistance with lifting to relieve pressure;
  • Remember, you alone are responsible for caring for your body and should follow the above advice even through you can’t do it yourself;
  • Rub pressure areas daily with Prep or Aloe Vera cream;
  • If the skin is slightly red rub with a block of ice to increase the blood flow to the area.

The skin is there

  • for protection against organisms (germs), sharp objects and the sun;
  • for sensation e.g. pain, temperature and feeling;
  • for the regulation of bodily fluids; and
  • for temperature regulation by sweating.
FUNCTION CHANGE YOU SHOULD
Protection There is no change in the skin Prevent your skin from tearing or breaking.
Sensation Below your lesion, you have little or no sensation Special prevention to implement pressure release, prevent injury and protect the skin
Temperature regulation Less sweat below your lesion, therefore less cooling down Control the environmental temperature (stay out of the sun); drink enough liquid when it is very hot
Fluid regulation No spontaneous movement of muscles; this causes fluid to accumulate in the muscles of your legs Take the burden off the swollen limb; wear elastic socks or elevate your feet
  • By following a balanced diet which is rich in vitamins and minerals;
  • Controlling your weight will help you not to get pressure sores as easily;
  • Daily skin inspection with a mirror, before you get up and when you go to bed. Look at the following areas: shoulders, elbows, hips, buttocks, coccyx, knees, ankles and heels for any red marks, swelling and lesions. If you can’t do it yourself, ask someone to help you, but it must be done.
  • Daily hygiene by showering, bathing or being bed-washed. You sit in the wheelchair the whole day and there is no ventilation, which leaves your skin warm, dark and slightly damp. This is the place for germs to grow.
  • Hygiene tip – wash the groin area before going to bed; air it by lying in a frog position.
  • Dry thoroughly between your toes as well as the groin-bum area.
  • If you have a dry skin, massage those areas with the cream to moisten them. Dry skin can easily form cracks, which can develop into sores.
  • Clean finger and toenails daily and keep them short.
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