Following a serious accident, it’s only natural that the focus is on the person who was injured. But what about the people who are in charge of caring for a loved one while they recover…if they recover?
Becoming an unexpected caregiver is one of the toughest roles many families will encounter. With no training or support, family members are suddenly giving up to 30 hours of uncompensated labor per week. This is all on top of their running their own households, families and jobs. It can be overwhelming.
“In certain instances, caregivers may not have the level of expertise that is required…not to mention the emotional toll it takes,” says Brad Parker.
In these situations, it’s also common for caregivers to forget about taking care of themselves. Only when a caregiver’s needs are met can the person they care for benefit the most.
“It’s like what they tell you when you are on an airplane. The first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. That’s because it’s only when we first help ourselves that we can effectively help others,” Brad says.
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and we’d like to shine a light on the self-sacrificial gifts many give following a tragic accident, such as bathing, cleaning house, shopping for and comforting loved ones.
Ways Caregivers Can Cope
It’s important that pride and fear of inconveniencing others are set aside. Ask for help. Start by making a list of ways that others can help you. This could include having a friend or family member pick up a few items from the grocery store or a prescription. When jobs are broken down into very simple tasks, it is easier for people to help. Knowing when to ask for help when you need it is a sign of personal strength.
Taking time off is extremely important. It’s essential to take breaks from caregiving to attend to some of your own daily needs. You may have to reach out to trusted friends or family members to take some shifts during the week. During this time, you can run errands, meet up with a friend for dinner or go on a date with your spouse or be free to take a bath or a nap.
We are more likely to reach a goal if we break it down into smaller action steps. Once you've set a goal, ask yourself, “What steps do I take to reach my goal?” Setting goals or deciding what you would like to accomplish in the next three to six months is an important tool for taking care of yourself.
Caregiver may also find comfort in a support group. Others who are going through a similar situation can provide validation and encouragement, as well as problem-solving strategies for difficult situations. Set aside time each week for connecting, even if it's just a quick phone call with a friend.
Thank you to all those who selflessly serve as a caregiver to family, friends and loved ones. Your actions do not go unnoticed by us!
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation.
Boiler Plate: At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.