Supporting a loved one with an injury can be a stressful, emotional endeavor. You want to help your loved one through such a difficult time, but it’s hard to know where to start. –
An injured loved one will need your help at some point, and those with life-changing injuries may require support for the rest of their lives. Being there for the injured can help them recover and adjust to their new normal.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of bolstering your loved one through their recovery process, here is a complete how-to guide to help you master a comforting presence.
Help with research
Injury often strikes when you least expect it. Your life could be forever changed by a workplace accident, a car wreck, or even medical malpractice.
A severe injury comes with an abundance of red tape. The victim has to file an insurance claim, contact a personal injury attorney, and much more. You can help by taking the burden of logistics off your loved one’s shoulders.
Hiring an attorney is one of the most stressful aspects of the post-injury procedure. The last thing a wounded person wants is to research lawyers from their hospital bed. As their friend, you can support an injured person by researching injury firms for them. The sooner you enlist the services of an esteemed law firm like Schwartzapfel Lawyers, the sooner they can start investigating your loved one’s injury and building a case.
The right attorneys will collect critical information related to the accident and may even refer a loved one to medical specialists who can testify about their injuries. Lawyers help determine what damages a plaintiff should seek, so all present and future expenses are covered.
An attorney will also negotiate with an insurance company for the maximum possible compensation. Much like you are supporting your loved one through this time, the attorney is helping to support you through the legal process.
Offer emotional support
People with injuries often suffer physical pain and deep emotional distress. While the damage may be painful by itself, the mental health impact is nothing to sneeze at either. Emotional distress can include anxiety, depression, frustration, bitterness, guilt, and insomnia.
Being a good listener is an excellent starting point for supporting your loved one through the emotional turmoil of a severe injury. Allow the patient to talk through their frustrations and fears, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to say anything. No one expects you to have all the answers, but listening can be a huge relief in and of itself. Avoid platitudes such as “everything will be okay,” as these can feel dismissive.
Instead, create a safe and calm atmosphere where you offer reassurance when needed and space when asked. Try not to rush the patient into making any tough decisions, as they may still be processing the events.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Injuries can make taking part in regular activities challenging. Though it’s often the last thing an injured person wants to do, keeping an active, healthy lifestyle can only help in the long run.
Encourage your patient to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals and snacks regularly, and cut down on tobacco or caffeine. Any destructive habits formed now can inhibit recovery, so it’s essential to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Help with doctor’s appointments
An injured person might not be able to drive to their checkups. They may also need help booking the appointment or filling prescriptions.
Assist your loved one in the management of appointments. This assistance includes coordinating, scheduling, and driving them to the doctor. You can also offer to attend the appointments with your patient and write down instructions from the care team.
Get involved even further by communicating directly with the loved one’s doctor (with the loved one’s permission, of course). That way, you stay up to date on critical information about medication side effects, physical restrictions, and how you can best support their rehabilitation.
Make sure they don’t push themselves too much
A loved one might be in denial about the severity of their injury and the effect it will have on their life. The frustration of lost independence might cause some to pause themselves too far and hurt their recovery efforts.
Take the load off an injured loved one by quietly helping them with household chores. Providing physical support to an injured person can help speed up their recovery and comfort them. Help your loved one become more independent gradually as they recover.
Reduce your stress
Caring for a loved one’s injury can be hard on you. Spending time in such an intense situation can take a toll on your mental health. Remember that prolonged stress can lead to health complications, including anxiety, asthma, and heart disease.
Find time for yourself to rest and take care of your needs. If you force yourself to stay at a loved one’s bedside 24/7, the stress may eventually cause you to say something you regret.
Before you go: your support matters
There’s no rulebook for coping with a life-altering injury. If your loved one is recovering from a severe ailment, do your best to take over any red-tape processes and offer a listening ear when asked.