When a loved one is seriously injured, it can be a stressful, challenging and confusing time. You want to be there to support them as much as you can, but what if you overstep a line, say the wrong thing, or just get in the way?
Here are seven simple ways to make these difficult times a little easier for everyone:
1. Offer emotional support
Many people who suffer a serious injury or trauma experience emotional distress, such as depression, anxiety or insomnia, along with physical pain. It can be really hard seeing a loved one go through this, but you can support them by just being there; sitting beside them, and listening to what they need to say. You might struggle to know how to respond, and that’s OK. You don’t need to offer any advice or solutions – just listening, in a calm, measured and non-judgmental way, is enough.
2. Drive them to appointments
Your loved one probably has a long road to recovery ahead of them, which will involve regular appointments with doctors and specialists. Offering to drive them is a great way for you to help out – and it’s much less stressful than getting around in a taxi. You could also help them book and schedule appointments to relieve some of the anxiety they may be feeling.
3. Monitor their medications
Some injuries and medications can make your loved one tired or forgetful, causing them to lose track of what they need to take. Knowing what they need to take – and when – will ensure they’re getting the right amount of medication.
4. Talk to their doctor
Provided your loved one is happy for you to do so, staying in direct contact with their doctor can be a good way for you to stay across their injuries, medication, rehabilitation and recovery. It can also relieve that burden of information on your loved one.
5. Provide healthy, nutritious meals
Lots of healthy fruit and vegetables are really important for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. If your loved one is bedbound or unable to get out and exercise, healthy home-cooked meals will help them keep their weight stable and their body nourished. Cooking and doing supermarket runs is an easy way for you to provide support.
6. Encourage, but don’t push
Getting adequate rest when recovering from an injury is essential, but gentle activity and fresh air is also important. When your loved one is ready (and has received the all clear from their doctor), take them on short and slow walks close to their home. By starting off slowly, you’ll gradually help them regain any confidence they may have lost throughout their recovery.
7. ENGAGE formal support
If your loved one has made a personal injury claim, you can help by keeping in touch with their lawyer. At Gouldson Legal, we understand the stress your loved one is under, and are here to make the compensation – and recovery – process as simple as possible. Find out more about how we can help here.