Because of how comparatively rare limb loss is, many people struggle to support their loved ones following an amputation, not knowing the right thing to do or say. To help you give your loved one the care and understanding they need, our team at Tierney Orthotics and Prosthetics has put together this brief guide on post limb loss support.
- Be Patient- Our first piece of advice is to be patient. Recovering from limb loss takes time, and there’s no guaranteed timeline for when your loved one will regain mobility, master new methods for activities of daily living, or be able to return to work. In addition to the challenges of rehabilitation itself, the uncertainty involved is likely to weigh on your loved one, meaning that they’ll need you to help cope with any frustration they are feeling. Be patient with the recovery process, and be patient with your loved one and their emotions during this time.
- Don’t Do It Alone- Next, we strongly advise against trying to manage everything yourself. Helping your loved one through the initial recovery and rehabilitation process will consume a lot of time, attention, and energy, and keeping up with all your household tasks on top of that is too much for any one person to achieve. We recommend enlisting family members or neighbors to help with things like meal prep or child care during this critical time. In addition, communicate with your support system to keep them informed of what’s going on and what you need.
- Don’t Forget Your Own Needs- Building on the above point, make sure you also take the time to take care of yourself. Just because you aren’t the one who suffered limb loss doesn’t mean that you aren’t experiencing stress, and it’s important to find ways to acknowledge and work through that stress. While you shouldn’t ask your loved one to support you during this time, as the patient’s needs are still the priority, you should definitely seek support from others in your family or friend group.