The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) is part of Switzerland’s largest charitable solidarity network. 1.8 million people are members of the Benefactors’ Association. Their support provides a sound financial basis for the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation’s activities. Dr. Guido A. Zäch founded this unique solidarity network in 1975.
Swiss Paraplegic Foundation
The activities of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation are based on avision of the comprehensive rehabilitation of paraplegics and tetraplegics. Its objective is to enable those affected to live a self-determined life that is as independent as possible.
To this end, the SPF, along with its subsidiaries and partner organisations, operates a similarly unique network of services, providing support to people with spinal cord injuries in all situations throughout their lives.
The Foundation implements and supports all measures that state-of-the-art science and technology state are appropriate for achieving this goal.
In addition, in cases of hardship the Foundation makes contributions towards the cost of aids, apparatus and equipment for people with paraplegia and tetraplegia, or pays uncovered hospital and care costs.
Since it was founded in 1975, several thousand affected people have returned to living full and active lives,
- due to the organisation’s highly specialised medical care,
- successful integration into work, family life and society,
- specific research work
- and lifelong support.
Benefactors' Association of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation
With over 1.8 million members, the Benefactors’ Association of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation is one of the largest membership organisations in Switzerland. It was founded in 1978. Thanks to the solidarity of the benefactors, membership fees enable the Foundation’s objectives to be met – objectives of comprehensive treatment, rehabilitation and social integration of paraplegics and tetraplegics into family life, work and society. Members receive a support payment of 250,000 Swiss francs if they suffer a spinal cord injury in an accident which results in permanent dependence on a wheelchair. This support payment is not only unparalleled in Switzerland, but also unique worldwide.
Hotel Sempachersee (HSS)
Hotel Sempachersee has already been awarded Swiss Seminar Hotel of the Year eight times. Following the completion of renovation work in autumn 2017, guests now have at their disposal 150 hotel rooms, 41 seminar rooms, three outdoor seminar platforms, two auditoriums and a hall. The à la carte Sempia Restaurant, self-service Vivace Restaurant and banqueting restaurant Aurora, plus the Lago Bar with its garden lounge and the Onda Bar at the GZI, will meet all your culinary requirements. Accessible infrastructure at HSS means that there are no physical barriers to interaction between wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users.
At the Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC) the Swiss Paraplegic Group offers all the medical services needed to guarantee the professional acute care and rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries.
Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC)
The Swiss Paraplegic Centre is a privately owned clinic recognised throughout Switzerland and specialising in primary care, acute treatment, and comprehensive rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries and similar syndromes. The SPC has 150 beds, including an Intensive Care Unit. Over 250,000 inpatient and outpatient treatments have been provided at the SPC since it opened in 1990. 190 beds will be available for this purpose from the end of 2020. The extension is scheduled for completion in mid-2018, and will make room for additional wards, a new Intensive Care Unit, and state-of-the-art operating theatres. It is being created in response to capacity bottlenecks in recent years. We will be able to treat around 1,300 inpatients in future, increasing the figure of 1,000 patients we have capacity for today. The clinic will continue to offer full outpatient and inpatient services throughout the construction period.
ParaHelp advises and supports people with SCI disabilities and their families across Switzerland on matters of care and support, tailoring its advice to suit their specific needs. The focus is on rehabilitation at home, avoiding complications and promoting quality of life.
Swiss Institute of Emergency Medicine (Sirmed)
Sirmed is chiefly concerned with delivering high-quality training in rescue and emergency medicine. Their services are aimed at laypeople and professionals alike, with their focus being care for people with spinal injuries. In addition, the SPF’s subsidiary company is actively involved in developing rescue and emergency medicine, together with offering rescue service training in Switzerland.
Integration and Lifelong Assistance
The Swiss Paraplegic Group offers comprehensive, needs-based services in order to improve the societal integration of people with spinal cord injuries.
Swiss Paraplegics Association (SPA)
The SPA, founded in 1980, is the national umbrella organisation for people with spinal cord injuries and has a membership of around 11,000. It promotes, represents and coordinates matters for paraplegics, tetraplegics and other members, throughout Switzerland. Its services include the Institute for Legal Advice, Wheelchair Sport Switzerland (promoting performance and mass-participation sports), the Centre for Obstacle-free Building, the Life Guidance Unit, and the Culture and Leisure Unit with its travel agency and own fleet of coaches. The association also supports 27 regional wheelchair clubs across Switzerland.
Orthotec provides a full range of services in orthopaedics, rehabilitation and wheelchair technology, as well as vehicle adaptation, for patients at the SPC. It is also a market leader in the area of incontinence care.
Active Communication AG became a subsidiary of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) on 1 January 2018. Since 1999 the SPF has been providing people with a disabilities and/or neurological disorders with electronic and teaching aids to enable them to participate more and gain further independence in their everyday lives.
The Swiss Paraplegic Group seeks to contribute towards the sustainable improvement of health, social integration, equal opportunities and self-determination of people with spinal cord injuries, through comprehensive rehabilitation research, including clinical research
Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPR)
Swiss Paraplegic Research’s core expertise is comprehensive rehabilitation research into the interaction between physical, mental and social factors in the development and overcoming of disabilities. SPR works at a national and international level. It performs an important role in Switzerland’s research environment with its recognition and promotion as a non-university research institution by the Swiss government and by the cantonal authorities, and with the creation of a foundation professorship and Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy at the University of Lucerne, as well as the launch of a Master programme in Health Sciences. Together with all paraplegic centres in Switzerland and SUVA, SPR runs the national Research Platform for People with Spinal Cord Injuries: “Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study” (SwiSCI)
Community for people with spinal cord injuries
Innovation Centre for Assistive Technology
The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation opened the Innovation Centre for Assistive Technology (IAT) on 1 January 2018. As a centre of expertise and knowledge factory, this is the point of contact for the development and enhancement of resources for people with spinal cord injury.