Advice for friends and family

The torrent of feelings you experience watching a loved one in pain and difficulty can be overwhelming, along with the need to make everything better for them. This can be especially heightened if injuries have been serious enough to require surgery or prolonged stays in hospital. Many feelings are 'normal' in this situation; guilt, anxiety, blaming ones self, anger, frustration and fear.

Once the injured person comes home the reality of the situation can become starkly apparent. Intially they may need more care and support, but you must be careful to provide help without to dis-empowering the individual. As physical and psychological injuries begin to improve, and the injured person begins to regain their strength, then the person providing support must move to 'enabling' rather than 'doing' for the injured person. Empowering people to take control of the things they can do with some independence is crucial to aiding recovery and rehabilitation. It can be hard, and frustrating standing back and watching a loved one struggle with a simple task, or take a long time to complete a task they would normally do with no difficulty. However, their sense of accomplishment and pride will outweigh those feelings once they have completed the task.

There are many different support groups available to help the friends and relatives of injured people. They provide a safe place to talk with others who have gone through the same thing. We can help you find a suitable support group, asking for help or someone to talk to can bring relief to those caring for a loved one who has sustained injuries.