Family and friends play a critical role in rehabilitation after surgery, neuro therapy, physical therapy, and any kind of other recovery process. They help shape the mindset of their loved one during the recovery process, and mindset can significantly affect how efficiently a recovery goes.
In many cases, we hear about family and friends that are extremely supportive during the rehab process, uplifting spirits and helping to keep the focus on progress and the end goal.
In other cases, we hear about family and friends who cause their loved ones to actually feel WORSE about their progress. Without the support of family and friends, mindset turns negative, and the recovery from surgery, injuries, or chronic pain actually becomes slower.
Here’s 7 ways you can avoid being the latter of the two and help your loved one to stay motivated with a focus on progress and the end result.
1. Stay Positive.
This will be an overarching theme to this article. Rehabbing from surgery, injury, or chronic pain can be a mentally grueling process, whether it’s with Neuro Therapy, physical therapy, or by other means. Your loved one is constantly asking themselves questions like “Will I ever feel like I used to?”, “Am I wasting my time?”, and “Am I doing this correctly?” Trust me, they’ve got enough work to do on the mental side to stay positive and focused on the end result. The most beneficial thing you can provide is POSITIVE support. Heap it on, go over the top, and make sure you believe that they can accomplish the end result by any means necessary.
2. If you want to ask questions, stay positive with your tone.
If your curious enough about your loved one’s progress that you want to ask questions, use a positive tone. Instead of asking “Why do you think that will work?”, say something along the lines of “That sounds really interesting! Did the doctor (or therapists) explain how it’s been so effective for others in the past?” Remember, lay on the positivity and go over the top with it. If your loved one feels like they’re being investigated, they’ll start to doubt their decision to trust their provider, and doubt that they’ll be able to make a full recovery, and I know those aren’t the intentions we want to have with our questions.
3. Go to an appointment with them.
Going to an appointment with your loved one can be a great way to show support and learn about the game plan directly from the provider. It’s always better to hear it right from the horse's mouth than putting the pressure on your loved one to remember the practitioner’s exact words.
4. Learn the guidelines the therapy team is asking to be followed outside of therapy and help them stick to it.
An added bonus to step #3 is that you’ll be able to learn the guidelines the provider is telling your loved one to follow outside of therapy. Whether its Neuro Therapy, physical therapy, or something else, these guidelines are important to optimize recovery and you can help make sure they stick to it!
5. If you notice progress, tell them about it!
This one’s simple. If you notice your loved one is progressing (getting around easier, seems to be complaining about pain less, etc.) tell them about it! Celebrate these successes with them and you’ll multiply the chances that positive results will continue to unfold.
6. Do the exercises with them.
If a physical therapist has prescribed home exercises, do your best to learn the ins and outs of the exercises. When you have the opportunity, do them with your loved one to show your support and comment on how challenging they are even for you.
7. Ask them how they are feeling about their progress (or lack thereof)… and then just listen.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just listen. Ask them how they feel about their progress (or lack thereof) so far, and don’t speak again until they finish talking. When they do, ask a follow-up question and listen again. You may learn a lot about how they are handling the recovery process mentally, which will put you in a better position to provide support and take their results to another level.
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About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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