Supporting a loved one after an injury is something we all want to do, but with it being an unexpected and traumatic experience for everyone involved, it can often be difficult to know what to do. A lot of family members and friends will feel unsure how they should act and what they should do for their loved one due to the suddenness of the situation.
Following an accident, your loved one may have suffered a serious and debilitating injury such as a brain trauma, which can lead to a painful, long and often frustrating journey as they regain their health. For you, it can also be a very emotional and frightening experience, watching your loved one struggle as they come to terms with what has happened and the injuries they’ve sustained. Whilst you may have the support of an industry-leading attorney firm such as www.WarriorsforJustice.com there’s still a lot of support that your loved one will need from you, and here’s how you can help:
Helping Your Loved One to Cope with Psychological and Emotional Trauma
It may be difficult to know what to do for your loved one, particularly as they too are struggling with the situation. However, your support and love throughout this difficult time are going to be fundamental in their recovery process.
Firstly, you’re going to have to be patient and understanding with them. The trauma they have been through will take time for them to come to terms with. You’ll need to understand that it’s going to take them time to recover and that everyone will react differently in these situations. So, you may feel frustrated at how they are reacting but you must understand that you can’t judge them for this and must persevere with them and how they feel they need to cope with the trauma.
Getting back into a normal routine will help them to readjust back into day-to-day life, and you’ll need to help them to do this. Even simple things such as helping them to do the housework or doing the grocery shop for them will help, as will listening and talking to them as and when they feel they want to.
Talking throughout this process is key to their recovery but it’s also important that you don’t force them to talk about the situation until they’re ready. They won’t want to feel pressurized into talking about what’s happened. So, let them know that you’re there if they want to talk without forcing them to open up to you. This can be frustrating for you as you’ll want them to be open and honest with you, however, by just being there and talking about general goings on, this will help them come on in leaps and bounds, and they’ll talk to you when they’re ready.
You may find that your loved one wants to lock themselves away from everybody after their accident but it’s important that they continue to socialize and relax with friends. Encourage them to go out to visit friends and to do the hobbies and activities that they used to do before their accident (if they can). Organize lunch dates with friends or participate in their local fitness class with them.
Being emotionally distant, withdrawn, irritable or angry comes naturally after a trauma like this, and it’s important that you don’t take these emotions to heart. This isn’t a reflection on you or your relationship; it’s a result of the trauma.
Helping Your Child to Recover from a Trauma
If it’s your child that has suffered a trauma, you will need to approach this differently, as they are likely to react in other ways. A lot of children will regress to their younger selves after an accident, feeling safer when they were this age. Allow them to do this and be understanding and comforting towards them if they do.
Should your child be under 8, you may also find that they blame themselves for the accident. Therefore, you need to reassure them that it wasn’t their fault and they didn’t cause the accident. They may also feel helpless, so encourage them to write letters to people who helped in the accident, bringing a positive feeling and a sense of hope to the entire family.
Nightmares or difficulty sleeping are also natural, and if they do suffer from these, try to spend more time with them at night by reading to them or doing quiet activities until they fall asleep. Be patient, as it could take them a while before they are able to sleep throughout the entire night again.
Georgia Gregory provides nursing care to people in their own homes. She works with the elderly as well as younger people recovering from an illness or accident. Over the years she has realized that family are often stuck on knowing how to help their loved one in a practical way; Georgia hopes to offer up some helpful and practical info in her articles.