If your loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, it can be hard to know the best way to support them through their recovery. To help get you started, you’ll find three ways to support someone with a spinal cord injury below. Additionally, you’ll find more information about how James H. Brown and Associates is here to provide resources, support and legal advice for accident victims and their families.
1. Understand Their Injury
The first thing anyone needs to do to support someone affected by a spinal cord injury is understanding the injury itself. Spinal cord injuries are unique and can affect different people in different ways. Talking with them, their doctors, therapists, and other medical professionals will help you understand how their injury affects them, the treatments they need, and more.
It’s also important to understand that nothing is ever certain about spinal cord injuries. There are countless examples of individuals being told that “they’ll never walk again,” only to go on to recover to the point of being able to walk again, even if it is with assistance. The fact is that the long-term effects of a spinal cord injury can change over time; it’s important for family members to remember this while continually focusing on the affected person’s progress and adjusting their support accordingly.
2. Help Them Get Stronger
In terms of practical support, most SCI treatment aims to help patients get stronger and achieve a comfortable level of independence depending on the injury’s severity. Lack of exercise is often the most significant obstacle; setting up and helping them with their exercise plans can go a long way towards helping them recover strength over time.
As a family member who loves and cares about the patient, it can be tempting to jump in and help them with every task you possibly can. Although your intentions may be good, it can be frustrating to have everything done for you. Feeling a loss of independence is all too common among spinal cord injury patients; allowing (and encouraging!) them to do as much as they can for themselves can help counteract these emotions and will enable the person to feel as independent as possible.
Outside of the physical, it’s also crucial for SCI patients to have personal goals. They could be something as significant as graduating from college, or as simple as writing or speaking about their experience to others. Helping your family member set and achieve their goals can help them improve their sense of self-worth and keep them motivated throughout their treatment and life after their injury.
3. Help Them Build Their Support Network
Humans are inherently social creatures, and a spinal cord injury won’t change that. After an SCI, it’s not uncommon for friends and loved ones to start excluding individuals from certain activities. This type of behaviour is rarely malicious, but it can profoundly impact an SCI patient’s feelings of loss and alienation. Including these people in every regular activity will help mitigate these feelings and help maintain their sense of well-being.
It’s also important for SCI patients to have their own social hobbies and activities. From volunteering or joining a club to playing games with friends, encouraging the individual to pursue social activity can help improve feelings of self-worth. Additionally, being around other people can help them build and maintain a social network, which can be a vital part of their support for the future.
Spinal Cord Injury Law with James H. Brown and Associates
After you or a loved one have been involved in a serious accident, seeking professional legal advice should be your top priority. Working with an experienced injury lawyer ensures that your rights will be protected and you receive complete, fair compensation, allowing you and your family to focus on the road to recovery.
Since 1993, James H. Brown has successfully stood up for Albertans’ rights and helped our clients attain justice and fair compensation for their injuries. Our award-winning legal team has a proven record of success with spinal cord injuries, some of the largest accident injury settlements ever achieved in Alberta. When your life and livelihood are at stake, you can trust James H. Brown and Associates to support you every step of the way.
Our comprehensive services and resources include:
- An experienced team of dedicated injury lawyers with over 200 years of combined experience.
- Full investigation and evidence preservation services, including accident reconstruction and analysis.
- Access to experts to help fully understand your injuries and provide evidence for your case.
- Strong relationships with community organizations to support rehabilitation and recovery, including sponsoring Spinal Cord Injury Alberta’s Resilience Kit.
- And much more!
Looking for a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?
Unlike many of the other large law firms in Alberta, James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers are ready to speak with you right away. No call centres, no intake teams, just the expert legal advice you and your family need.
Contact us today to speak with a lawyer and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates.