When your loved one has suffered a serious injury and now lives with a disability after an accident, you may not be quite sure how to help them. It’s normal to feel this way and to have concerns about how they’ll move forward in their life.
If it’s possible, it is a good idea to start by talking to their medical provider or others familiar with their new disability, so you can learn more about it. Doing a little bit of research may go a long way in helping you understand what your loved one is going through.
Beyond this, there are a few additional tips that may help you provide better care to your loved one in the months or years to come.
- Upgrade your home
When possible, one thing that could help your loved one is making upgrades in the home to make it handicap accessible. For example, if your spouse now has to use a wheelchair, you may want to add a wheelchair ramp to the front porch as well as extra railings in the bathroom and bedroom. If you have hallways that are too narrow for the wheelchair, you might consider looking for a different property or into adjusting your own home to a more open floorplan. There may be home modification grants that can help, so this is something to look into early and often.
- Focus on your loved one’s mental health
Another thing to do is to focus on your loved one’s mental health and psychological needs. Anything you can do to make their life easier and more independent is a good idea. For example, asking if they need help instead of automatically doing something for them is beneficial. Helping them get to therapy sessions or teaching them new ways to do simple tasks may be valuable.
- Know when you need help
Depending on the disability, it may be hard to care for your loved one on your own. Know the signs of getting burnt out, so you can ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious or have lost interest in the things you enjoy, it’s time to look into building a support system.
These are a few tips to help you care for a newly disabled loved one. This is a challenge, but with the right support, you’ll be able to adjust.