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"I’m aging like everyone else-just in a wheelchair" : a case study of acceptance of spinal cord injury Forseng, Melanie Tracy


Due to decreased mortality and increased longevity, the population of those aging with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is increasing in Canada. Little is known about the experience of aging with a SCI. In order to increase our understanding of this experience, I designed a qualitative research study to explore it. Using a case study approach, I both interviewed and observed a 65 year old man who has lived with paraplegia for 28 years. For this man aging with a SCI involved acceptance and normalization. Acceptance occurred first and was the incorporation of his SCI into his life. Then normalization, or the reconstruction of the self, took place. This involved mmimizing the differences and redefining normal. As a result of acceptance and normalization, aging with a SCI became simply aging for this man.

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