No matter how much you insist on leading a healthy life and keeping safety a priority, injuries happen. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before someone you love gets injured, and at that time, you need to swoop in and help them as much as you can. Having family and friends can be a great help when dealing with an injury and recovery, so do not underestimate your role. No matter how you offer your support—through chats, visits, acts of service, or money—you will definitely help in their recovery process. Here are just a few ways you can help your loved one’s recovery from injury:
First of all, you don’t know what they are going through, so the best thing you can offer in this situation is an understanding ear. Try your best not to invalidate their feelings and pain with overly-positive responses such as “Stay positive” or “Everything is going to be just fine”. These generic responses can make the patient feel like they are boring you or burdening you with their feelings and their pain.
Do some research
You might have a ton of questions about the injury, surgeries, treatment, and recovery, and be sure to ask them. However, think hard about whom you’re going to ask. The injured person probably went through their entire injury history with dozens of people, and they might want to fill you in as well. What you can do freely is show your interest and support by doing independent research online. A simple Google search can give you many hits on the condition, injury and all that follows it. This way, you can discuss the process with the injured person without having to stop them for explanations every other sentence. It will make your time together much more pleasant and effective because you’ll know how to offer your best support.
Manage their appointments
The healthcare system can be confusing and challenging to navigate when you’re healthy, let alone when you’re injured. So one of the best things you can do for your injured loved one is to help them with their appointments, insurance, and therapy sessions. You can look into a functional capacity assessment NDIS process, that can assess an individual’s capability to operate in various situations, commonly in terms of employment, in an unbiased manner. Finding new treatment options and helping with appointment management can be very helpful for someone who struggles with recovery.
There are many simple things you can do such as driving them to appointments and back, offering support during sessions, and writing down instructions from the care team. Another helpful thing you can help with is insurance documentation which can be confusing in Australia.
Offer specific help
“Do you need anything?” might be a caring question, but it can often make people feel embarrassed to answer with anything but “no”. It can be very imposing to ask to cook something, scrub the bathroom, or do some errands, even though the other person would be happy to do anything. So if you truly want to be helpful, take control and offer specific assistance. Say things like “I will drive your kids to school this week” or “Let me do your laundry”. This way, they are more likely to accept your help.
Keep them active
In many cases, injury recovery requires plenty of physical activity and exercise. Movement is a crucial part of healing, and you can be an assistant to your patient on their path to recovery. Besides regular physical therapy, when visiting, encourage them to take a short walk or help them with their exercises by counting and cheering.
Be practical with gifts
What do you usually get for someone who’s sick? Flowers? Candy? Books? These are all great, but if you truly want to help and show your support, invest in some more useful gifts. For instance, opt for new accessible pajamas, a bed tray, or even a new piece of smart technology that will allow them to operate their devices from the bed.
Text instead of calling
Injuries and recovery involve a lot of pain, pain medication, exhausting exercises, and rest, so make sure to always text before calling. Expect your loved one to be napping at weird hours or not be in the mood to chat. Text a simple “Hope you’re doing well” or “You can call whenever you want” and see how they respond.
Take their mind off things
As a caring person, you might want to know all the details about their injury, recovery, and health, but they might not be willing to discuss that anymore. Be someone who will offer a welcoming break from discussing medication and therapy. Talking about the freshest gossip, the newest episode of that addictive soap or trashing the game last night can be just what your patient needs to forget about their condition for an hour or so.
It’s not hard to be a supportive partner, family member, or friend to an injured person. Just follow these tips and you will do so much for their recovery without even knowing.