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Helping a loved one adapt to sudden disability after an accident

A major accident can change everything. Whether the accident occurred at work or in a vehicle, your loved one was not prepared for this sudden disability. You may see your loved one experience a range of emotions while adjusting including shock, anger and grief. You may not know how to help. Consider the following tips for helping the person you love adapt to a new disability.

Understand new limitations

An injury will change the way that your loved one lives and works. Whether the disability is temporary or permanent, it will likely impact physical activity. You can help your loved one assess their limitations. After that you can apply changes to daily activities.

Talk to their health care provider to get a recovery outlook. Ask them questions. Will the disability be short or long-term? What type of care will they need? Will they require a professional caregiver? Will you need to adapt the home environment? Can they return to work?

Give them time to mourn

Disability, especially when it is permanent, can be difficult to accept. Accidents that lead to a loss of sight, hearing, limbs or mobility not only mean loss of an unlimited lifestyle, but possibly even plans for the future. Your loved one may need time and space to mourn. You can offer a positive outlook, but do not expect them to quickly bounce back to their usual happy-self.

Licensed mental health professionals can offer assistance through the mourning period and beyond. Support groups can also be incredibly helpful, providing practical and honest advice when you need it most. A number of local New York City support groups exist for brain injuries, mental and physical disabilities.

Do not be afraid to ask for help

The extent of care needed will depend on your loved one’s new disability. Do not hesitate to seek assistance for adapting to this new lifestyle. They may require temporary, in-home or long-term care. There are a number of services that can help you and your spouse, child or relative with their daily activities. Consider your options such as:

  • Home health aids
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Homemaker services for help with meals, cleaning and shopping

Be aware of your financial options

Paying for hospital bills, therapists and home help services can quickly become expensive. There are a number of avenues for financial relief. Your loved one may qualify for workers’ compensation if they were injured at work.

People experiencing catastrophic injuries from car accidents, slip and fall accidents or other types of incidents can hold negligent parties accountable for damages. If your loved one was injured due to someone else’s negligence, then they can file a personal injury claim.

Your loved one may no longer be able to perform their previous job, but that does not necessarily mean they can never work. When they are ready, they can seek assistance with vocational counseling and training. They may also be eligible for Medicaid, Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.

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