When you have a family member who suffers a workplace injury, their life will become complicated in a number of different ways. While they should be focusing solely on their recovery, they will also have to contend with filing a worker’s compensation claim. Most of this will involve things that your loved one will have to do for themselves, but you can support them in several meaningful ways.
Help Them Get to Important Appointments
When a family member is injured, they will have a busy schedule even though they will be missing several days of work. During the recovery process, they will have to get to doctors appointments and visit a physical therapist on a regular basis. They will also need to meet with an L&I attorney from time to time to pursue their claim for damages. Even if the individual has a vehicle of their own, they may not be able to drive due to their injuries. You can be an immense help simply by driving them to run these errands. While they are consulting with their doctors, therapists, and attorneys, you can run some errands of your own. This can help you both take care of necessities at the same time, allowing you and your injured family member to have more time for relaxing at home.
Assist With Physical Therapy
Your family member will have to engage in physical therapy at home under the instructions of their therapist. This may include buying equipment, such as weights, so they can do specific exercises at home. They may also need someone to work with them to ensure they’re performing the exercises correctly. By offering to help your loved one buy the equipment they need, you can ensure they have what they need to make a speedier recovery. Be sure to find out what type of equipment will be covered by insurance ahead of time. You can also work with them to help them perform some of their exercises. By offering this type of assistance, you can help your family member heal faster and regain their former quality of life sooner.
Suffering a serious injury also affects the mind, so it’s important to be emotionally supportive of your injured family member. This involves making yourself available to them when they need to talk about their recovery or how being injured affects them on an emotional level. Be aware of the signs of depression, anxiety, and trauma. If your loved one seems to need more support than you can offer, suggest taking them to consult a mental health therapist. Counseling and certain types of therapy can help your loved one deal with the depression, anxiety, and other emotional health problems that their workplace accident has caused.
Pick Up a Part-Time Job
You can also help your injured family member by helping to compensate for the loss of income in your household. It may take some time before your injured family member receives their first worker’s compensation payment, and your family will still have to pay monthly bills in the meantime. By increasing the money you bring into the home, you can help keep your family’s finances from taking a more significant downturn. A part-time job that brings in a portion of the income your injured family member earned at work may be enough to help your household survive temporarily.
Give Them Some Space
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for an injured family member is to allow them to manage things by themselves. This includes giving them some alone time. They may just need that solitude to think things through or regain their focus on the important things in their life. They may also need the opportunity to do things for themselves. Asserting their independence in small ways is vital to a full recovery. Even if your loved one is left permanently disabled, you should encourage them to adapt to their situation. Giving them the space to try new things is the only way they will discover what they can do for themselves.
If you’re unsure how you can help an injured loved one, ask them. While you may be nervous about overstepping or being insensitive, most people will appreciate consideration and sympathy. They will let you know what you can do for them and what they want to do for themselves. Sometimes, just being supportive is all the help your injured loved one will need.
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