This page has information about the assistance that is typically needed for clients with a spinal cord injury that is classified as Thoracic 7-10 (T7-T10), Lumbar 1 (L1) with an ASIA score of A or B.
Movement and motor control
- Total paralysis of the lower trunk and lower extremities
- Moderate upper trunk stability. Moderately impaired sitting balance
- Full control of upper limbs.
Breathing (respiratory function)
- May have compromised respiratory capacity and endurance.
Personal care activities
- Minimal assistance is required with personal care if the person lives in an appropriate accessible environment and has no other complicating factors, e.g. health, weight, or other disability.
Daily living activities
- Will need assistance with heavy housework or home maintenance
- Other domestic duties are possible if the person lives in an appropriately modified environment
- Likely to require housing modifications to resolve barriers to getting into, out of and around the home, provide appropriate facilities to allow meal preparation and maintaining personal hygiene, and address issues around body temperature regulation and personal safety.
- Transport via motor vehicle will require either a mobility taxi or the ability to drive a vehicle that provides accessibility, safety during transportation, and adequate room for equipment.
- May require assistance with floor-to-chair transfer due to a range of factors including age, strength, upper torso mobility, size, upper limb length and current wellbeing.
- Independent in transfers on level surface. Minimal to no assistance with uneven transfers.
- Independent using manual wheelchair on indoor and outdoor surfaces.
Home nursing: 0.5 hours per week, or as identified by assessment
The allocation of 0.5 hours per week is not an indication that home nursing will be required weekly, rather it is to allow home nursing on an as needed basis.
Attendant care: 0 to 10 hours per week
There is a wide variation in the level of personal assistance required for this level of injury. Generally, the higher level of support hours refers to the higher level of injury.
Home help: 5 to 10 hours per week
The range of support hours is due to the large variance in function at this level of injury. Ten hours per week would be required if the individual had poor trunk control and needed greater assistance with heavy domestic duties such as pushing and loading a shopping trolley, or carrying and hanging washing.
Community access: 0 to 7 hours per week
Assistance with transport would not usually be required at this level of injury. The upper range may be required for assistance with transport where the person is unable to transfer, clamp and unclamp the wheelchair in the vehicle, or load and unload the wheelchair.
Child-care services, educational support and vocational support
The categories of child-care services, educational support, and vocational support have not been allocated a range of support hours. The support requirements in these categories are very specific to the individual’s circumstances and should be based on a specialist assessment of the individual’s needs.
For example, if eight hours of educational/vocational support is required at an education facility or workplace, there is likely to be a reduced need for domestic meal preparation in the home.
Reviewed: 9 September 2015