How to Help a Loved One Cope with a Spinal Cord Injury
Across the United States, more than 17,000 new spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur annually. While each case is unique, they all have the potential to devastate the victims—and their families—physically, emotionally, and financially.
If someone you love is recovering from an SCI, you might feel powerless to help. While this is a perfectly natural reaction, it’s not entirely true.
You might not be able to erase what happened or carry some of the burden for them, but you can certainly make their life a little easier (and maybe even brighten their day in the process). Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to help a relative who’s struggling to adjust to life with a spinal cord injury:
1. Provide Opportunities to Exercise
For those with spinal cord damage, physical activity plays a critical role in the healing process. It also contributes to overall health and wellness in general.
In the earliest stage of your loved one’s recovery, ask their physical therapist for a list of exercises you can help them perform at home. As the patient gets stronger, incorporate more activities into their daily routine. And once they get the necessary mobility aids, you can start taking them to parks, coffee shops, and other establishments, all of which can boost their morale by getting them out of the house.
2. Help Them Devise—and Then Accomplish—Goals
Recovering from a catastrophic injury like spinal cord damage is a long road. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or get discouraged on an almost daily basis.
For most people, setting goals and then knocking them out one by one is best way to remain optimistic about the future. Get a journal for your loved one, and have them write down a few goals they want to achieve within the next year.
These ambitions can be physical, emotional, personal, professional, or recreational. Then, determine the steps they’ll need to take to achieve each one over the next 12 months. Break these steps into smaller, more manageable tasks, and give your relative encouragement for tackling them every time you see them.
3. Introduce Them to a New Hobby
Since SCIs can cause permanent paralysis, they often force people to abandon their favorite pastimes. If there’s no way to modify your loved one’s hobbies to accommodate any new limitations, introduce them to several other hobbies. It’s only a matter of time before they find something else they enjoy as much.
Don’t get discouraged if your loved one is reluctant to try anything at first. With persistence, you should eventually be able to convince them to participate in something new, and if you do it with them, you’ll get to spend quality time together in the process.
Call (727) 821-1500 to Discuss Your Case with a Florida Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If someone you love suffered spinal cord damage because another party was negligent, turn to Emerson Straw. Our resourceful team can help your family compile the evidence needed to pursue compensation for all associated damages. Call (727) 821-1500 or use our Online Contact Form to schedule your free initial consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Florida.