A MedlinePlus article published this holiday season outlines tips for families coping with a suddenly critically ill family member. Kelly McElligott, clinical social worker at Loyola University Health System, states that “families are totally unprepared for sudden injury and overwhelmed when it is a very serious injury. Families need a road map to guide them through their worst moments.”
McElligott outlines the following steps for a person to deal with such a sudden hospitalization of a loved one:
- Take care of yourself.
- "If you do not take care of yourself, you cannot take care of someone else."
- Continue to live.
- "Life does not stop because someone is in the hospital. Other family members need attention and support also."
- Let others help.
- "Friends, relatives, colleagues and others will offer assistance and it is critical to accept help.”
- Ask questions.
- "No individual could know what to expect when a severe injury occurs."
- Be open about your experience.
- Reach out to people for support by sharing your experience or what you have witnessed.”
- Find peer support.
- Others who have had similar experiences can help people understand that it's still possible to laugh, socialize and enjoy life.