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The important role carers play in injury recovery

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In our line of work, we see hundreds of ill and injured people walk through our doors.

Whether from a workplace incident or a road accident, or a terminal illness, injuries take a significant toll on the injured person in more ways than one. Without carers, many injured would struggle to deal with daily tasks.

Carers Week is a timely reminder of the vital role that they play to keep our elderly, disabled, ill and injured comfortable and healthy.

Impact of caring for an injured family member

The role of a carer in caring for someone who has suffered an injury is critical in supporting them on their road to recovery and return to work.
Carers advocate for you and provide support where you need it.

They support you through long periods of rehabilitation, helping you with your personal and emotional needs, from the moment of the accident through to when you, hopefully, recover.

They may drive you to and from medical appointments, help change your bandages, and support you through your daily physiotherapy routines. They may cook your meals, do your laundry and mow your lawn.

Studies show that not only does having the support of treating specialists, employers and insurers help in a successful return to work, but having the support of family and friends is associated with better recovery outcomes in terms of both physical and emotional health, pain and likelihood of returning to work following an accident.

The injured aren’t the only ones to find adjusting to life after an accident difficult – studies also show that traumatic injury can impact the lives of families, especially those that take on the role of a carer.

Caregivers are often variably prepared to take on such a role and the challenges that come with it.

The physical and emotional demands of being a carer for a family member can be tough and can disrupt their emotional well being and other aspects of life, leaving them vulnerable to stress and financial problems themselves.

But they, and you, don’t have to go it alone.

Domestic care and assistance are also available through compensation

When claiming compensation for personal injuries most people are aware of the financial compensation available for loss of earnings and medical expenses, but not many know you may also be able to claim for domestic care and assistance.

A claim for domestic care and assistance generally covers the cost of everyday tasks that you can no longer do yourself.

It can include having services paid for by the insurer for help with:

  • Domestic tasks such as general household chores like vacuuming, laundry and cooking or gardening work like lawn mowing
  • Personal care including helping you shower, dress, change bandages and take you to medical appointments
  • Home or vehicle maintenance such as car washing, or changing light-bulbs

The exact extent of tasks covered under domestic care and assistance are wide-ranging and are decided on a case-by-case basis.

You can claim this type of help in most circumstances whether as part of a motor vehicle accident claim, public liability claim or in some cases as part of a workers’ compensation claim.

There are, of course, certain criteria that need to be met to be eligible, including that you did not require this level of assistance prior to becoming injured.

It is best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss what you may or may not be eligible to claim for.

Helpful tips for carers

It’s important that you still look after your health and well-being as a carer. If you’re struggling, there are a number of ways you can find support.