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What’s the most important thing for families to know right away?

What’s the most important thing for families to know right away?

Kristine Cichowski, MS

Founding Director, Life Center, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by Kristine Cichowski
Transcript
That you matter. I think that it's important that the family knows that their presence, their involvement is very, very important. The family, the friends, the extended family—all of those pieces make a difference. And families often are a ... Show More

That you matter. I think that it's important that the family knows that their presence, their involvement is very, very important. The family, the friends, the extended family—all of those pieces make a difference. And families often are a little uncertain as to, "What do I say? — How do I approach this?—How far do I go?" And, it's very difficult to know exactly what to say. My advice is just say as you normally would say, be involved as you normally would, and don't get hung up on not doing it because you're afraid you're going to do it wrong. But I think it's important that the family knows how critical their involvement is, that they are really a very important part of the team. And also to know that it's not going to be easy, your family member who had the spinal cord injury may not be a happy camper in many instances, even though you're breaking your behind to do whatever you can for them. And sometimes, that just how it rolls out. But, again, it could be the same even if there wasn't a spinal cord injury. So you have to remind yourself that life is full of rocky roads, that's what life is. But your involvement as a family member is critical, and it's that love that's going to carry you through this.

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What’s the most important thing for families to know right away?

Kristine Cichowski, MS

Founding Director, Life Center, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

More Videos by Kristine Cichowski
Transcriptadd

That you matter. I think that it's important that the family knows that their presence, their involvement is very, very important. The family, the friends, the extended family—all of those pieces make a difference. And families often are a little uncertain as to, "What do I say? — How do I approach this?—How far do I go?" And, it's very difficult to know exactly what to say. My advice is just say as you normally would say, be involved as you normally would, and don't get hung up on not doing it because you're afraid you're going to do it wrong. But I think it's important that the family knows how critical their involvement is, that they are really a very important part of the team. And also to know that it's not going to be easy, your family member who had the spinal cord injury may not be a happy camper in many instances, even though you're breaking your behind to do whatever you can for them. And sometimes, that just how it rolls out. But, again, it could be the same even if there wasn't a spinal cord injury. So you have to remind yourself that life is full of rocky roads, that's what life is. But your involvement as a family member is critical, and it's that love that's going to carry you through this.

What’s the most important thing for families to know right away?
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