Overcoming an injury is no easy feat. And it can be especially difficult if you’re doing so alone. The help and support of family members and friends play a crucial role in the recovery of an individual who has experienced a significant injury. Arguably, one’s emotional state needs as much rehabilitation as his or her physical condition after being injured. The negative impacts of an injury are many. So the more help one gets towards recovery, the better.
At Independence Incorporated, we offer a Personal Care Needs Assessment that includes the help of registered nurses and occupational therapists. Together, they provide comprehensive assessments of the personal care needs of their clients. That way, those impacted by injuries are provided with the best possible paths towards recovery. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t need additional assistance from their loved ones.
Here are six ways to assist injured loved ones with their recoveries:
1. Spend some quality time. Injured loved ones can develop overwhelming senses of loneliness since they are usually unable to participate in regular everyday activities. Since they generally won’t be able to come to you, it’s important that you find some time to spend with them in their homes. On SpinalCord.org, Dr. Linda Lindsey writes that spending time with friends and family is a great way for those in recovery to assist themselves with the process of getting better.
2. Be respectful and realistic. There is no exact science to being a caregiver. In many instances, you may be doing something that you believe to be helpful that may only worsen the situation. On MSKTC.org, Dr. Thomas Novack reminds us that you may want to refrain from expressing false optimism like “you will be back to work in no time”. It’s important to treat your loved one like an adult, not talk down to him or her and respect his or her likes and dislikes regarding your care.
3. Encourage a healthy lifestyle. As mentioned, when someone is injured, it’s not so easy to participate in regular activities. So it’s important to help your loved one to not fall into the trap of letting their health go. “Get enough sleep,” Dr. Lindsey insists, “Eat regular, healthy meals and snacks…Cut down or cut out use of caffeine and tobacco.” Helping your injured loved one to avoid falling into bad habits during the rehabilitation process can go a long way in the healing process.
4. Reduce your own stress. A loved one’s injury is hard on you too. Obviously, it brings about a level of stress that no one is interested in having. Dr. Novack reminds us that stress is related to such health issues as heart disease, cancer and stroke. It’s important to always find time for yourself so that you can rest and care for your own needs. “If you are under constant stress, you are not going to be as helpful to your injured family member or anyone else,” says the doctor.
5. Take some time for yourself. Don’t assume that you can do it all. While helping your loved one with his or her recovery process, it’s important to remember that you need to be in a healthy state of mind and body yourself. As Dr. Lindsey points out, “caregiving is not a one-person job. You need time away for a healthy lifestyle, and there are going to be times when you are sick or need to get to get away for other reasons.”
6. Reward yourself. Your loving care for your injured family member or friend is an incredible gesture. You deserve to be rewarded for it. Treating yourself will not only help you to alleviate stress, but it will re-energize you to take on the difficult daily tasks that you’ve become responsible for. “Everyone needs something to look forward to,” writes Dr. Novack, “Promise yourself a cup of your favourite coffee or an opportunity to watch a good TV show or read something you enjoy.”
For more information about our Personal Care Needs Assessment, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644.