Teaching for life: integrating aging into the rehabilitation education program.

As the population with spinal cord injury (SCI) steadily ages, nurses find it more and more challenging to prevent secondary complications. SCI, an already complex topic, is made more so with the addition of the aging process. Aging need not be a negative occurrence, but can be viewed as a path in life that requires careful navigation along the way. Nurses need to incorporate the concepts of wellness and disease prevention education into the initial rehabilitation program to better prepare patients for a long and healthy life. This article briefly describes respiratory and genitourinary complications associated with aging with an SCI and some specific teaching strategies for prevention and management of these two complications.