We all do our best to plan all aspects of our daily lives. One of the things that we can’t plan for is an accident that severely injures a family member. A head injury in particular can have a serious impact on the person injured and their immediate family. Head injuries account for about 1.5 million emergency room trips every year in the United States. For most moms, there is little that can be done to prepare yourself, not to mention your family, for coping with this type of serious injury.
So, if a spouse, loved one or friend has sustained a head injury on the job or due to a car or other type of accident, here are a few tips for preparing yourself and your family to deal with the expected and unexpected consequences of this unfortunate reality.
Maintaining Family Life after a Head Injury
Unfortunately, head injuries are an all too common result of motor vehicle accidents and certain occupational work accidents. While there is not much that can be done to prepare for the accident, there are several things you can do to ensure your family is properly coping with the fact that dad has been injured.
1. Talk to Your Children about the Injury
While this may sound obvious, it is actually the hardest thing for most moms to do. Moms have a tendency to shield family members, especially children, from stressful or unpleasant situations. This is perfectly normal, but in this instance, your children need to know and understand what has happened. If they’re left in the dark, they may create their own, incorrect explanations for why dad has been acting different or doesn’t do all the things he used to do, prior to the injury.
A recent article from BrainLine Kids addresses the steps a mother can take before talking to her children about head injuries. The goal here is to help your children understand, not to keep them in the dark about the situation. Though we are naturally driven to protect the emotions of our children, silence is not the answer when it comes to dealing with a head injury in the family.
2. Double Up on Your Routines
Do not misinterpret this as the need to increase the number of routines in your family life. It means that you should review your current routines and streamline them to be more effective. Because of their injury, your spouse will need your assistance more than ever. Prior to the injury, they may have been completely independent. But it’s likely, depending on severity of the injury, that they’re going to become dependent on you and the rest of the family more now than ever. Anything you can do to make more time for handling their needs will be beneficial. For example, if you normally spread out your laundry duties over two or three days, consider getting it all done in one day and freeing up that additional time for helping your spouse accomplish tasks or chores that they used to handle on their own.
3. Consult Others for Support
Panic is the first emotion you’re likely to feel when you find out your spouse has sustained a head injury. However, panicking will only lead to unnecessary stress that in turn reduces your ability to effectively and efficiently manage your family while your spouse is recovering and out of work.
Take things one day at a time until you find a rhythm that works best for you and your family. Part of this approach is to consult with others who can offer you support. This support can come from a family member, friend, coworker or a professional trained to help you through these types of situations.
Where to Start When Dealing with a Spouse’s Head Injury
The first step following this type of incident should always be contacting a qualified personal injury attorney to handle your spouse’s case. The tips listed above are simply pointers for helping you get yourself and your family adjusted to the new circumstances that arise as a result of a head injury.
Once you start implementing these tips, you’ll see that over time things will start to get easier and become more routine for you, your spouse and your family. Depending on the severity of the head injury, your spouse could be out of work for anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Regardless of the amount of time, you need to prepare for the road ahead. Using the strategies shared in this article will get you started down that path a step at a time.
This post was created by a guest writer.
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