Supporting your injured loved ones during physical therapy can be challenging. However, you can inspire them to conquer the whole process with the right approach.
Read below for helpful tips on guiding your injured family member during recovery.
Encourage Physical Therapy
At first, your loved one might want to avoid physical therapy, thinking it’s better to wait it out. However, physical therapy offers various benefits to help them recover.
Physical therapy can help boost mobility, prevent falls, avoid costly surgeries, and improve a person’s balance. The process is also meant to guide injured patients toward a better and safer recovery through prescribed hourly sessions. Of course, there’s the added benefit: once they recover, they spend more time with their family and friends.
Create a Set of Activities
Don’t leave your loved one in bed waiting for the next physical therapy session. You can occupy their time by providing various tasks to keep them engaged and active.
The key is to partner with their therapist to understand their current capabilities. That way, you can craft a list of realistic tasks they can do while recovering. These activities range from getting up from bed alone to taking a few steps around the house daily.
Creating a task list will give your recovering loved one something to strive for. Plus, if they constantly achieve these small and realistic goals, you can inspire them to conquer recovery by making it seem more manageable.
Of course, as mentioned above, you must ensure that these activities are attainable and based on their current activities. Moreover, never hold it against them for not achieving a specific task. Remember that physical therapy will always have its ups and downs.
Celebrate Small Wins
Celebrating every sign of improvement will help boost your loved one’s morale while they recover from their injuries. Consider every new thing they do in recovery as a small win you should celebrate to help uplift their spirits and tell them they’re getting closer to healing.
The first time they get out of bed alone is a win. The first time they shower and dress themselves is also a win. Walking up the stairs, strolling outside, and driving a car again are milestones you should always celebrate. You can also document these achievements so your loved one will have something to reflect on that demonstrates their resilience while healing.
Don’t Help Too Much
It might be tempting to always lend a helping hand to your injured loved one. However, doing so might not be as beneficial as you think. If you help with everything, your recovering family member might lose motivation to do things themselves. It will affect their self-esteem, thinking about how dependent they are during their recovery.
The key is to help without helping too much. For instance, never lift them physically while getting out of bed. Instead, guide them. Offer an arm to help them pull themselves up or walk. However, never insist they take it.
Meanwhile, you can take over some of the tedious chores your loved one used to do. For instance, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, or any big task they’re currently incapable of doing. That way, you can take their mind off worrying about things like missing their pet’s vet appointment or taking the car to the mechanic.
Talk About Physical Therapy
Having a severe injury can be an isolating experience for your loved one. If you help them out physically, you can significantly boost their recovery. However, it might not be as effective if patients hold negative emotions.
The best way to avoid this is to let them know you understand what they’re going through. To do that, you must know more about physical therapy itself. Communicate with their physical therapist to understand your loved one’s recovery process. That way, when you encourage them to open up about their healing journey, you know what they’re going through, making it less isolating.
You can also look at various online resources to widen your knowledge of your loved one’s mental recovery. For instance, Healthspot is an excellent website that advocates for mental health. You can look into this site and more to understand how you can help your injured family member with their mental battles during recovery.
Join Them During Sessions
Being present during physical therapy sessions is another way to show support for your injured loved one’s recovery. If time permits, take them to their appointments and join them throughout their sessions. Doing so will allow you to assure them that they’re not alone when going through the process.
Joining them during therapy is also vital so you can provide better insights to their physical therapist. For instance, you can answer inquiries regarding your loved one’s progress. Of course, only do so if your injured family member missed out on any detail to avoid affecting their independence.
Physical therapists would also provide at-home routines that your loved one could do during recovery. You can also join them in these routines so they feel motivated to do them and feel less alone in the process.
Physical therapy can be a stressful process for your injured loved ones. However, with the proper support and practices, you can ensure they have a safe and inspiring recovery journey.