caring for a loved one with a spinal cord injury

Caring for a Loved One with a Spinal Cord Injury

Traumatic and catastrophic injuries leave victims with a lifetime of recovery ahead of them, and on top of that, they take a significant toll on victims’ family members and loved ones. If you have a family member who has suffered a spinal cord injury, you may have been thrust into the role of caretaker without any warning. It’s crucial to learn all you can about being a good caretaker, spend time meeting your own needs, and prepare for what the future holds.

If someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s negligence, you could be leaving compensation on the table. This compensation could help you cover your loved one’s medical expenses, lost income, and other losses. Learn more now by calling Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370.

Expect Your Role to Change, Especially in the Beginning

Spinal cord injuries can change rapidly. What you expect to be your new normal could change in the days, weeks, and months immediately after the injury. Learn all you can about taking care of your loved one where they are at the moment—but know that their needs could change the next day. In the beginning, your family member could be looking at a lifetime of paralysis.

In the weeks after the injury, diagnostic testing could show that they have a possibility of ambulating with assistance. You never know what news is just around the corner, so be flexible and give yourself grace.

Specify the Help You Need

During this time, lots of people will want to help. They’ll tell you, “Let me know if there’s anything you need or anything I can do.” They might truly mean it—but they just don’t know what you need.

Take them up on their offer. Create a list for yourself of tasks that could be outsourced or managed by other people. This may include meal trains, grocery shopping, laundry, trips to and from doctors’ appointments, picking kids up from school, or respite care while you spend time with other family members. Depending on how close you are to someone offering help, you can ask if they’d be up to a specific task from your list.

Take Care of Yourself Physically and Mentally

This change can be grueling. You will be put through the wringer physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do not give everything you have to your injured family member or other loved ones. You must take care of yourself before you can meet others’ needs. Figure out what your basic needs are and what you need to thrive. Ask others for the help you need to care for yourself.

Follow a Routine and Document Everything

As you get used to the numerous care tasks that come with helping a spinal cord injury victim, take notes on what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you try feeding first thing in the morning because they’re most hungry. However, after a week you realize that they have restroom accidents almost every morning because you feed them before taking them to the restroom.

Switch it up and see if it gets better. As you figure out what works for you, write it down and stick to your routine as much as possible. This will give your loved one a sense of normalcy, reduce the mental load on you since you can just follow a routine, and help anyone who provides respite care for you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Check Out Your Legal Options

If your loved one’s injury is due to someone else’s malice or neglect, you should not be left shouldering this burden alone. While financial compensation doesn’t undo the harm suffered by your loved one, it can at least support them and you during this time. To find out if this is an option for you, contact a personal injury attorney.

Call Peake & Fowler to Talk About Your Claim

The team at Peake & Fowler knows how devastating a spinal cord injury can be, both for victims and the people that love them. We want to help you fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Set up a meeting now by filling out our quick and easy contact form or calling us at 803-788-4370.