Phrases meant to encourage may have an opposite effect if they’re mistimed or misinterpreted. This can be especially true if your loved one has recently had a life-altering medical incident that has left them unable to care for themselves. Here’s some inspirational words you can use to help encourage a loved one who may have recently lost their independence:
“I know how you feel.” But you don’t. Express empathy and interest by asking them to put their experience into their own words, which allows you to show support through active listening.
Try instead: “I can’t imagine everything you’re going through, but I want to try. Can you tell me about it?”
“This could have been so much worse.” A phrase like this can easily come across as “you’re being ungrateful.” While you’re thankful they’ve survived, they may be weighed down by loss, frustration, and the fear of an uncertain future.
Try instead: “While I’m glad you’re still here, I’m sorry you have to go through this.”
“Here, let me do it.” Your loved one is still getting a sense of what they can and cannot do independently. Give them a sense of control by asking them to delegate help when they decide they need it rather than hopping in when you think you do.
Try instead: “You do what you can. Tell me when and how I can step in.”
“It’s time to start moving forward.” Your perception of “ready” may be lightyears different from your loved one’s. Though they may need a nudge if they’re resisting change, their opinion is the one that ultimately matters.
Try instead: “I know what you’re capable of and don’t want to see you get stuck in a less-than-best version of yourself. What are you willing to try today?”
You have their best intentions in mind. Now put the best words in your mouth. At Choice Health Management, we can give your loved one the long-term care they need if they’ve become unable to live on their own. Schedule an appointment with us today to see the Choice Difference!