A diagnosis of a long-term injury – such as brain trauma or permanent disability –will introduce a number of emotional and psychological challenges for your injured husband and your family. Your husband, children – and even you – may better cope with these changes by taking steps to mentally prepare for the diagnosis.
Below are strategies that may help your family better anticipate and respond to likely household changes.
Helping Your Husband Prepare for a Long-Term Injury
Your husband may face physical pain and discomfort, reduced physical capabilities and the stress of adjusting to a new way of life. Your emotional support can help ease these burdens as he moves forward with recovery.
Below are steps you can take to help your husband mentally prepare for a diagnosis of serious injury:
- reassure him that you support his recovery;
- reaffirm that you support his decision to file a claim or lawsuit for recovery of compensation (you may even identify steps you can take to ease this burden for him);
- research his condition and treatment options and share this information with him in a low-pressure method;
- help the family pursue financial assistance as needed (your husband may not be able to focus on recovery if he is concerned about your economic well-being);
- encourage your husband to voice his needs (whether this includes physical needs — such as help lifting objects or getting out of bed — or emotional needs — such as a break from visitors or time alone to speak to a therapist); and
- offer a judgment-free ear to which your husband can turn with his fears, concerns and anxieties.
You may also wish to offer scheduling a family therapy session or individual counseling. Respect your husband’s wishes and do not pressure him to take action with which he does not feel comfortable.
Helping Your Children Prepare for a Long-Term Injury
Children of all ages may have a difficult time adjusting to their father’s injury. For many kids, dad is viewed as impervious to injury – an all-powerful superhero of sorts.
Below are ways you can help children prepare for and adjust to their father’s injury:
- explain the nature of your husband’s injury using age-appropriate language (a family therapist may offer guidelines on how to discuss especially difficult concepts);
- remind your children that your husband is safe and is no longer in danger;
- talk to your children about your husband’s physical limitations (for instance, “Dad won’t be able to carry you on his shoulders, but he still can read you your bedtime stories and play videogames”);
- reassure them that a bad mood doesn’t mean dad doesn’t love them (your husband may experience a roller coaster of emotions and children should be prepared for the ups and downs);
- talk to them about your own time considerations (Will you have to go back to work? Will you be spending more time physically caring for your husband?); and
- give your children ways in which they can help (for instance – can they pick up some additional chores? Can an older child run errands for the family?).
Remember to exercise patience with everyone – yourself included – during this difficult time of transition. For legal guidance, please contact our offices to schedule a free case evaluation. Call 866-703-2520.