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17. The role of the family in rehabilitation

Maya Angelou once said:

“I sustain myself with the love of family”

Our clients’ families are more likely to care and support them than anyone else.

Do you ever:

Worry about the mental health of family members?

Feel that a family member’s approach is unhelpful?

Want to make more of the family’s knowledge and skills?


Personal injury affects the whole family. Each family member will have their own unique relationship with the client and their own psychological recovery process. Despite these difficulties, research states they are one of the most powerful sources of support and rehabilitation aides available to the client.

So how do you support the family and make the most of them as a rehabilitation aide for the client? Here are some ideas:

Be aware that family members are at increased risk of depression & anxiety and share this fact with legal teams.

Encourage and facilitate access to support and mental health services.

Help the family member feel like a useful source of knowledge by involving them in assessments and asking for their opinions.

Invite the family to attend training courses alongside the staff team.

Involve them in care planning, this both helps to empower them and ensures they understand the approach to rehabilitation.

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