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How could severe injuries impact your family?

| Aug 30, 2019 | Brain Injuries |

A severe injury or life-changing disease can put future plans, goals and one’s whole life on hold. And there is no doubt that these unexpected circumstances can cause anyone with an injury a considerable amount of stress.

However, devastating injuries from a car accident or a cancer diagnosis rarely affect only one person. Family members can also experience significant stress and changes in their lives after their loved one suffers an injury.

Every family is different, and an injury will impact every family differently. But here is a look at some of the effects an injury could have on one’s family members.

The stress on family can be emotional, physical and financial too

Family members often experience the same kinds of stress as their injured loved one, though for different reasons, such as:

  • Emotional impacts: At first, family members might also be in a state of shock about the injury, just like their loved one. Once that shock wears off, it is common for family members to feel afraid for their injured loved one and the health of other loved ones long after the initial injury.
    Family members might also feel that their loved ones cannot provide the love and care they once did. This can lead family members to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression if their emotional needs are not met.
  • Physical strain: A debilitating injury or disease can significantly limit a loved one’s movement. This can, in turn, place physical stress on family members who might have to take up the unexpected and often stressful job of caregiver
  • Financial worries: Recovering personal injury compensation in Tennessee often covers many costs, from medical bills to lost wages. Unfortunately, families can still face financial stress after an injury and might struggle to meet the basic needs of other family members. 

Additionally, family relationships might change as roles change

The various impacts and stressors that an injury has on a family can also change family relationships. The root of these changes is often in how the roles and responsibilities of each family member can transform significantly after one loved one suffers an injury.

For example, spouses might have to take on a caregiving role for an injured spouse or even extra work to meet their family’s needs. Meanwhile, children might also feel like they have to grow up quickly as they take on the chores and duties around the house that their parents once completed. These changes can often impact the entire family dynamic.

It is important to note that these changes are not inherently a bad thing. But they are often a reality after an injury.

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