caring for a loved one with a spinal cord injury

How to Care for a Loved One with a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can cause a wide range of physical issues, from paralysis and chronic pain to fecal and urinary incontinence. These injuries generally last a lifetime, with patients seeing minimal to no improvement after the initial healing period. If someone you love has a spinal cord injury and you’ve decided to take on their daily care, you may wonder what is in store for you and how you can best meet their needs.

We know this is a difficult situation, but you do not have to go through it on your own. If someone else caused your loved one’s injury, you may be able to pursue compensation from them. Learn more about your options now by calling Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612.

Build a Strong Medical Team

To start, get involved in the medical care that your loved one is receiving. If they are comfortable with it, attend appointments with them and take notes about their care needs. If your family member feels discouraged because a provider isn’t listening to them or taking their needs into account, you can advocate for them or even help them find a new doctor. By attending physical and occupational therapy appointments, you can see what type of exercise your loved one will need at home.

Use Your Support Network

As your family member’s caretaker, you will need a tremendous amount of support. Emotionally, don’t be afraid to lean on your closest friends and family members. They can help you through a bad day or setback. You can also lean on your support network for the care needs of your loved one. Lots of people will offer to help, so take them up on it. If they can help by dropping off a load of laundry at the laundromat, tell them that. If you have a busy week and can’t cook dinner for your loved one, find out if they can set up a meal train. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Get the Rest You Need

Do not let your well-being fall to the wayside just because you are now a caretaker. Being a caretaker is extremely physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. Your needs must be met before you can meet others’ needs. Create a schedule that allows you to get plenty of rest, refresh with time away, exercise, and eat well. The more you neglect yourself, the harder it will be to provide top-quality care.

Listen to Their Input

Spinal cord injury victims often struggle with feeling like medical patients to their own family members. While what you’re doing is work, make sure it does not feel too clinical for your loved one. Talk to them about what type of care they like to receive and how they prefer to receive it.

They may want to talk throughout the day, or they might need silence if they are still struggling mentally with the accident. They might want suggestions on how to make things easier or they may prefer to figure things out on their own. This is their journey and talking to them can show you how to best support them on it.

Fight for Compensation to Cover Care Costs

As a caretaker, you may have given up some or all of your work hours in order to care for your loved one. That, in addition to medical expenses and your loved one’s lost income, can be extraordinarily expensive. If someone else caused the accident that injured your loved one, they may be entitled to compensation for everything they’ve lost. This could help you maintain your financial wellbeing and stability while still being there for your friend or family member. Consider discussing a personal injury claim with your family member so they can fully explore their legal options.

Check Out Your Legal Options with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey

A personal injury claim is one way to seek justice after a serious accident. A full and fair settlement provides compensation for injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and more. The team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey is here to help you file a claim and hold the other party accountable. Set up a meeting with us now by getting in touch online or calling us at 251-432-0612.

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