In Advocacy, News & Blog, Opinion, SCI BC Event, SCI BC News, Vivian's Corner

Each month Vivian Garcia, long time Peer mentor and organizer of the Surrey City Centre SCI BC Peer Coffee Group puts together a newsletter about upcoming Surrey events, opportunities, and important information for people living with SCI, and featured here in Vivian’s Corner.

vivians-corner surrey 2019

This edition of Vivian’s Corner highlights: 

  • Theme: Wheelchair Stuff
  • Macdonald’s Home Healthcare: The Importance of the Perfect Fitting Wheelchair
  • InfoLine Corner: Aging, Exercise, and Spinal Cord Injury
  • BC SCI 5 Network

Click here to download the full March newsletter as a PDF.

SCI BC Surrey City Centre Bean There Coffee Group

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 6

Theme: Wheelchair Maintenance with Macdonalds Home Healthcare

Surrey City Centre Library, READ Ability Lounge

Newsletter Snapshot

The Importance of the Perfect Fitting Wheelchair – Macdonalds Home Heath Care

Mobility aids are an essential element of disability health care and play a key role in the lives of millions of patients and across the globe. Wheelchairs help patients move from place to place independently, reducing the strain on caregivers and improving the confidence and security of patients. However, with more than 90% of patients complaining of seating discomfort or pain in a recent study, the importance of choosing the perfect fitting wheelchair should not be underestimated.

Vivian’s Corner – March 2019

Whether you’re looking for a manual wheelchair, or are seeking a more heavy-duty power chair, there are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a wheelchair.

Head to Macdonald’s Home Healthcare’s blog to read the rest of their comprehensive guide to finding the perfect fitting wheelchair.

InfoLine Corner with Heather Lamb, MSW

Aging, Exercise, and Spinal Cord Injury

Over a period of time, quadriplegics and paraplegics may experience degenerative changes resulting in decreased lean-body mass, low aerobic capacity, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, renal dysfunction, and possible contractures, joint pain or skin pressure sores. These are similar changes which people with sedentary lifestyles experience. A regular exercise regimen can prevent or alter the rate at which these changes occur.

Heather Lamb, Information Resource Specialist

However, the spinal cord injured (SCI) person must understand how SCI effects the body’s systems in order to assure safe and beneficial effects of exercise.

Some aspects to consider are: body mass, aerobic capacity, temperature regulation, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, oesteoporosis, bowel and bladder, contractures/decreased range of motion (ROM), joint pain, pressure sores, and more; read all about these on our SCI Database. 

Before you begin an exercise program, you should have a survey of your medical history and physical examination to identify exercise restrictions and detect disease.

There are several ways to start an exercise program. One choice is to seek the professional opinion of a physical therapist or exercise physiologist to establish a home exercise program with equipment you can purchase. Another choice is to find a health club which possesses or is willing to purchase adapted equipment. The staff should be knowledgeable in exercise for people with physical disabilities.

Some activities for performing cardiovascular exercise include swimming, arm-cranking ergometer, functional electrical stimulation, leg cycle ergometry, or wheelchair pushing outdoors or on rollers for indoor use. See your health care professional for specific guidelines.

Strength training should also be a component of a complete exercise program. To build muscle endurance and tone, which will improve your ability to perform repetitive tasks with less muscular fatigue, an individual should perform exercise with lighter weight and higher repetitions (i.e., 15 reps X 3 sets). To gain muscle strength and power, one should exercise with heavier weights and fewer repetitions (i.e., 8 reps X 3 sets). As the exercise becomes less challenging, the weight can be increased followed by an increase in repetitions. A day to rest should be scheduled between workouts and the same muscle group should not be worked two days in a row.

Trial and error may be used to establish appropriate workout weight. Remember, you should be able to complete 3 sets of your desired repetitions through a pain free range or motion.

With SCI, you must maximize the strength and endurance of existing or weak functional musculature without causing overwork injuries.

By performing a variety of exercises, you can prevent overuse injuries and promote muscular balance.

Questions? Call SCI BC’s InfoLine: 1-800-689-2477, toll-free: 9 am–5 pm, Monday–Friday.  Or contact us via email at

“What is the BC SCI 5 Network?” we asked SCI BC. 

The BC SCI 5 Network organizations are:

BC Wheelchair Sports, BC Wheelchair Basketball, Disability Foundation, Neil Squire Society, and us – SCI BC!

However, we also share our head office space with:

Sportability, RealWheels, Let’s Play, and BC Adapted Snow Sports.

Thanks for reading this month’s Vivian’s Corner! Stay tuned for Vivian’s April newsletter and be sure to join the Surrey City Centre Bean There Coffee Group for their next meeting on April 3, with a speaker from Surrey City Centre Library speaking to online library services including how to download e-books and e-audio resources.

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