Supporting a loved one with an injury can be a stressful, challenging task. While they may be getting help from a car accident lawyer or other professionals (motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injury), getting emotional and physical support from family and friends can be an important part of their recovery.
One of the best things you can do to help anyone suffering from an injury is to listen. An injury can cause a great deal of emotional distress, including guilt, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Allowing the person to talk their fears out is a great way to provide emotional support. Offer reassurance by creating a calm, safe atmosphere while remembering to give them space if they need it too.
Look for Ways to Help
Many people simply ask, “What can I do to help?” or they might say, “I’m here for you, just ask,” and so on. But most people who are injured are overwhelmed and aren’t sure what someone can do to help. Instead, just do something. Drop off a meal, water their lawn, take the dog on a walk – look for ways to help instead of waiting to be asked. One-off meals are always nice, but injuries are often something that take long-term recovery, so if you can get into a routine of dropping them off or perhaps setting up a regular meal delivery service, it can make a significant difference in their lives during the process.
Another one of the most important things you can do to help is to make sure they’re able to get to all of their doctor’s and/or therapy appoints so that they can recover as quickly as possible.
Be Thoughtful When Comforting
Even the most well-intentioned people tend to say things that can potentially harm rather than comfort, for example, “Everything happens for a reason.” Even if you truly believe this, that’s the last thing an injured person probably wants to hear. Instead, simply say, “I’m sorry.” A good rule to keep in mind is not to use a sentence that begins with “at least,” such as “at least the injury didn’t occur until after you got back from your trip to Hawaii.” While you may mean to offer reassurance that minimizes the effect the injury can have on the person’s well-being.
No matter what the situation, speaking from the heart is usually the best way to go.
Assist with Their Diet
As injuries can lead to a prolonged period of inactivity, helping the injured by ensuring they eat nutritious meals and monitoring their calories can help reduce potential weight gain so that they can maintain better well-being. Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is especially important when recovering from an injury, and it may even help ward of depression. Foods like broccoli, spinach, blueberries and sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants that help the immune system stay strong so that they can heal while keeping inflammation to a minimum.