Essential Caring Tips for an Injured Partner

By on September 30, 2015
caring for ill or injured partner

By Marco Bendinelli−

What do you do when a loved one goes through great physical change or trauma? Serious injuries can be a very personal issue, naturally, but it’s not easy on partners either. When someone you love or care about physically damages themselves, it’s a lot to take on board. As their significant other, you’re understandably ushered into a caring role you weren’t expecting to be in.

It can happen to the best of us, too. Just this month, George HW Bush suffered a neck injury after a fall. Even former US Presidents aren’t safe from accidents and injuries. In fact, research suggests it’s most common in older citizens. Age catches up with everyone, so it’s a possibility we’re all exposed to.

Studies collected by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggest that one out of every three older citizens – those aged 65 and above – have a fall each year. So, since it’s always better to prepare for the unexpected, what can you do in this situation?

Rearranging the Home

Nobody wants to leave their home – especially when it’s been their residence for a long time – but you can reconfigure your existing space to meet new demands. Here are just a few examples to think about. Of course, not all of these may apply, so please keep the nature of your partner’s physical limitations in mind:

  • Ease of access Are rooms that get used a lot, such as the bedroom and bathroom, easy to reach? If walking or the knees are a source of pain, the stairs may become a problem.
  • Cupboards and storage – It may not seem like much, but having to reach to high shelves, or bend down to lower ones, can cause serious strain on an already damaged body. A quick reshuffle of items can prevent this.
  • Wide floor space Does your partner need room to move? Consider pushing the furniture and units back. Create larger floor spaces for that extra comfort when moving around the home.

Independence and Aids

When you’re with an injured partner, it’s important to let them have as much independence as possible. Depending on the injury, the level of freedom available will vary. Nonetheless, if a wheelchair, stair-lift or other mobility aid is available, consider making the investment.

When in doubt, try and put yourself in your partner’s place? How does he or she feel needing help and how much would they appreciate being able to do something unassisted? People like being independent as much as possible, so try not to encroach on these freedoms if it’s not necessary.

Treatment and Medication

In the data collected by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, it’s suggested less than half the people who have a fall or injury talk to their doctor or medical expert about it. This may be for a number of reasons, but it shows people are unwilling to talk. This also means they might not be getting the right medication or treatment.

As their partner, you have the opportunity to help and encourage them to seek the medical aids they need. Similarly, you’re also in a position to ensure they take their medication and undertake any instructions ordered by the doctor.

Encouraging New Behaviour and Hobbies

Naturally, there will be some things that are no longer achievable, or at the very least not readily advised! Here are a few things you should consider about your partners lifestyle:

  • Do they enjoy sports or an active event? – If so, perhaps you should encourage less participation, especially if there’s a chance of further injury.
  • Encourage better safety procedures – Pride can be a dangerous thing and your partner might pretend their injury didn’t happen. Don’t let them risk hurting themselves again. If you think extra safety or precautions might be needed, don’t be afraid to raise your concerns.
  • Find an alternative While it’s one thing to ask your partner to be less dangerous, it’s another thing to ask them to do nothing at all. Find a new hobby or activity they might enjoy or benefit from. Furthermore, why not find something you can do together?

Communication

Finally, never underestimate the power of talking. Couples often solve issues through communication, but when one person is injured it’s easy for things to change. Does your loved one feel inadequate or embarrassed? Pride can be a dangerous thing, often capable of driving gaps between couples.

What’s the easiest way to overcome these issues? Talk to your partner and discover if there’s anything wrong. If you love them, talk to them to find these issues out, working together as a team rather than apart. Assuming, on the other hand, will simply drive a wedge over time.

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

 

Marco Bendinelli is an attorney and the founding shareholder at Bendinelli Law Firm. He is devoted to representing individuals who suffered injury or death caused by the negligence or wrongful conducts of others. He also finds time to motivate and inspire through his writings.

 

About lb50

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Essential Caring Tips for an Injured Partner