REHAB scores points with “Peer Event” of the Fördergemeinschaft Querschnittgelähmten in Deutschland e.V. (Support Association for Paraplegics in Germany) (FGQ)
So-called “peer counselling”, i.e. the counselling of affected persons by other affected persons, is one of the central concerns of the Fördergemeinschaft der Querschnittgelähmten in Deutschland e. V. (FGQ).
Approximately 150 voluntary FGQ peers are committed to providing this kind of direct help for paraplegics throughout Germany. The principal causes of paraplegia have shifted considerably in the wake of demographic changes. “In the past, it was often the classic motorcycle accident, which left young men with lifelong damage to their spinal cords. Today, more than 50 per cent of the causes of paraplegia are disease-related”, summarises Kevin Schultes, voluntary member of the board of the FGQ. “In addition to tumours that metastasise to the spinal cord, other disease-related causes include inflammations or infarctions in the spinal cord, herniated discs, and degenerative diseases that lead to paraplegia, especially in old age. The tasks for our association are changing accordingly.” The 53-year-old, who has been a paraplegic for the past 26 years, works as a management consultant in medical technology, so he is quite familiar with the industry and its clientele.
Approximately 30 peers from Karlsruhe and its surrounding area are expected to participate in the support association’s “REHAB Peer Event” on Saturday, 25 June 2022, where they will talk shop and share their ideas and experiences. The volunteer peer counsellors undergo extensive training and further education; the FGQ has hired a peer coordinator especially for this purpose. In several weekend courses, prospective peers are trained and accompanied in their personal coping with paraplegia. They also learn many basics of social law so they can better support clients with recent paraplegia in issues such as the provision of aids, adaptation of living space, work integration, etc.