Accidents can have a life-changing effect on the victim and the people around them. As the victim recovers they will need a strong support network to rely on.
It can be hard to know how to support someone after an accident, as there is a fear that doing the wrong thing will be detrimental to their physical or mental health. Here are some tips to support your loved one as best you can.
Let them talk
Sometimes, you may find that the person involved in the accident does not want to talk about it at all. On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum, they may want to talk about it a lot.
Whichever side your loved one falls on, try to practice active listening. If they don’t want to talk about it, try not to push them for information as this could force them to confront emotions they aren’t ready for yet.
If you find that your loved one isn’t opening up to you, don’t take it personally. It may be that they are trying to protect you from worrying about them. If the opportunity arises, talk to them about getting professional help.
Help with life admin
After an accident, there can be a lot of paperwork and life admin to tackle. This can be hard if your loved one is recovering from an injury or is struggling mentally. This could make it hard for them to concentrate and put it off, which will hang over them and cause stress.
You could, for example, help them with any paperwork relating to a compensation claim should they make one. Although the forms are fairly straightforward, they can be long so having someone to help will get them done quickly.
Part of supporting a loved one could be by organising their diary. Getting appointments and important meetings organised can ensure they attend them all without having to worry.
Physically caring for them
If an accident is serious, then the victim may suffer from some life-changing injuries. In their immediate future, recovery will be the main focus. They may need someone to help them out physically and this is where you come in.
They might need someone to help them onto the toilet or into the shower. If the injury is serious, you may need to help bathe them or help them to eat. The important thing to try and remember is to stay patient. It can be frustrating for both parties involved, but keeping your cool with each other will help to keep it a positive experience.
Remember to take care of your own mental health as well. A burnt-out friend or family member isn’t much use as a carer, so take time for yourself. If the responsibilities are great, see if you could devise a rota with other family members so that everyone has time off.