Caring for an Injured Person

When a person suffers a serious personal injury, their life can alter in a number of ways. The most noticeable are physical impacts: an injured person may be limited to a hospital bed for an extended period of time; they may require regular physical, occupational and speech therapy and rehabilitation; they may experience lingering or even chronic pain. Some injuries cause physical disabilities that profoundly change the victim’s life.

Past the physical impact, serious injuries can lead to long-term emotional and cognitive challenges. Depression, anxiety, and hopelessness are unfortunately common in injured people whose lives have been permanently changed by their accident. Reintegration into society can be a scary, even overwhelming task which requires tremendous commitment and support.

Unfortunately, the emotional effect of serious personal injuries can regularly spread to those close to the injured. Loved ones, specifically, may feel guilty or overwhelmed as they adjust to new caretaking responsibilities. Providing emotional and physical support to an injured family member emanates pressures which are not widely familiar to the general public. Who, then, is providing care for the care-providers?

Staff at London Health Sciences Centre includes social workers who make every effort to help, with the emotional challenges met by loved ones of seriously injured people.

“Social workers are in the hospital setting to help patients and families establish coping strategies that will help them reclaim control of their emotions, personal affairs and most importantly their health.” says Marianne Lee, Social Worker, Neurosurgery, London Health Sciences Centre.

This work is vital to injured peoples’ chances for a successful recovery and ensures the best possible quality of life. When a family member suffers a serious personal injury, caregivers could possibly be in charge of the physical and emotional health of two people. Particularly in circumstances where the victim’s cognitive ability is impacted, responsibilities within the family setting may undergo a great adjustment.

“Through assessment and counselling social workers deliver patient centred care to not only the patient but the family as well. We recognize that families face additional practical burdens as well as trying to manage such emotions as grief, regret and guilt.” added Lee.

The staff at LHSC works to educate caregivers, provide direction when making complicated decisions, and help families access resources available in helping their loved one’s recovery. “We help patients and families to understand that being in the acute care setting in just the first step on the journey to recovery and that the ultimate goal of the healthcare system is to get patients functioning to the best of their ability in the community.”

Experienced medical care professionals, like the team at LHSC are committed in assisting injured persons and their families to normalize life as much as possible and to enable them to fully recover and continue to lead a meaningful and active life.

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