When people suffer an unexpected disability stemming from an accident, their vision of the future may change in an instant. With the uncertainty of living with newfound limitations, people need the support and encouragement of people who care about them.

For families of injured people, their education and desire to learn about how to effectively help their loved one may enable them to provide compassionate and welcomed assistance.

The process of acceptance

Depending on the severity of people’s injuries and the resulting disability, as well as the resources and support available to them, the process of acceptance may take some time. According to Kansas State University, it is common for people to experience the four stages of adjustment after suffering a disabling injury. These stages include the following:

  • Denial that something serious has happened to them
  • Shock accompanying the realization of the extent of their injuries
  • Emotional trauma including anger and depression about the impact of their disability on their life
  • Gradual acceptance and adjustment to living with a disability

Helping people recognize their ability

Family and friends of a disabled person may desire to provide help and support in facilitating their loved one’s effort to accept his or her disability. Ability 360 suggests that people can provide the most appropriate assistance when they first ask what kind of support their disabled family member desires. They should be vigilant in recognizing the strengths of their disabled family member and celebrating accomplishments. One of the best things that people can do to help someone with a disability is to provide a reliable listening ear and encourage their efforts rather than correct or criticize.