How to support someone with a physical injury

When someone suffers a physical injury such as a car accident or work injury it's often difficult to identify how you can best be of help. Some injured persons may need only minimal temporary assistance. However, others may need daily care for the rest of their lives, needing to make permanent adjustments to their way of life.

Things to DO and to AVOID when supporting someone with a physical injury

Be emotionally supportive

A serious injury can bring on emotional distress, manifesting in a variety of negative emotions including depression, anger, frustration, grief, bitterness, and anxiety. It is therefore important to support an injured person by listening to them and allowing them to vent their feelings, fears, and frustrations. You often don’t need to say much, but rather just listen. 

Try to avoid

  • false reassurances such as “you’ll be okay” or “you’ll get used to it”
  • try to make them see the funny side of their injury
  • hurrying them to make a decision, especially if the person has had a head or brain injury
  • telling them you “know how they feel”

Support their treatment

Practical help such as assisting an injured person to schedule and attend medical appointments and treatments is vital to a speedy recovery.

Encourage rest

Feelings of denial and frustration may cause an injured person to exert themselves more than they should while trying to regain their independence. Rest and relaxation are important for an injured person to recover quickly and reduce frustration. Practical support around the home, showering, and dressing is often required. As they progress to recovery, assist them to become more independent and regain confidence gradually.

Support healthy diet and lifestyle

A healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients is vital for healing, recovery and maintaining mental clarity and health. Helping an injured person eat a balanced, calorie-appropriate diet can prevent them from gaining weight during their period of inactivity or developing secondary health complications. 

If the injured person used to be physically active, they may be extremely frustrated and depressed that they are no longer able to engage in the activities they formerly enjoyed. Support such individuals by helping them to identify alternative activities that they can engage in during recovery to support their physical and mental health.

Monitor medication

The effects of certain injuries, the effect of pain medications or simply old age may cause an individual to become tired, vague and forgetful. Therefore it is useful to have someone else monitoring their intake of medicines and painkillers so that they don’t over or underdose. Administering medicines as professionally prescribed is important for a comfortable and safe recovery.

Resources to assist

Your local hospital or medical center may be able to provide you with access to services and aids to assist you in caring for an injured person. Seeking legal advice on behalf of an injured loved one can also help to ensure they have full access the treatments and support they are entitled to.

Next steps - get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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Last update on:
May 29, 2018
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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