Caring for a person with lifelong injuries
Even minor incidents can sometimes leave victims with debilitating lifelong injuries. While this is traumatic for the person who has sustained the injuries, it can also have an unimaginable impact on the caregiver who is then called upon to look after them. The responsibility, both emotional and physical, can be both unexpected and significant.
While this is a situation you can never fully be prepared for, there are strategies to help you deal with this change.
Taking Care of Yourself
Taking the responsibility of caring for a loved one with lifelong injuries comes with sacrifice. It is an admirable role that any caregiver will tell you they would never think twice about accepting. Though caregivers display incredible strength and kindness, they commonly forget to look after themselves. While admirable, it is important that every person, regardless of their situation, takes the time to look after themselves.
Common changes experienced by those who are adjusting to the role of caregiver include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor eating habits
- Failure to exercise
- Failure to rest when ill
- Putting your own needs last
It is common to feel selfish when putting your needs first, but the reality is that your health, both mental and physical, is necessary for you to move forward in this situation.
Identify your source of stress and reflect on what you can and cannot control. Stress often manifests as resentment and frustration, which can challenge the relationship with your loved one. Understanding your stress is the first step to being able to work through it.
Too often, a caregiver’s grief and frustrations are not voiced because they feel they have no right. Holding on to any emotions and frustrations will only cause increased trauma and stress, as well as increasing your likelihood of illness and poor health. Communicating to your loved one or a professional can help to lift some of the weight from your shoulders and give you constructive steps to move forward.
If you have a support network that is willing to help you, accept their help. There is nothing shameful in accepting assistance from a friend or professional. Your health is necessary for the health and ongoing wellbeing of your loved one. Accepting assistance in order to relieve some of the pressure on you will ensure you are able to cope with your role long into the future.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained lifelong injuries as a result of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.