4 Ways To Help a Friend Adjusting To Using a Prosthetic

Dealing with the loss of a limb is, without a doubt, a life-altering experience for a patient. Mundane tasks and actions the individual performed effortlessly become troublesome, challenging to navigate and may require assistance from friends and family members.

Although the recovery period may seem daunting at first, there are tried-and-true tactics that can make the transition period easier to manage. If you have a friend that is currently struggling to readjust to their new life with a prosthetic, here’s what to consider while moving into the future.

Don’t Exclude Them From Activities or Events

Let’s face it: Our natural inclination is to assume that our friend will no longer be able to partake in activities that are physically or emotionally demanding. However, we should avoid this mindset to give our friend the best life possible while learning the ins and outs of their new prosthetic.

Revisiting familiar activities and settings will also ease the transition period as your friend deals with his or her prosthetic. This period will also help your friend build much-needed strength and endurance in new muscle groups to make previous activities easier to manage and navigate.

Embrace and Research New Technology and Medical Breakthroughs

A negative experience when dealing with a prosthetic is managing anxiety, depression and dread that creeps into the minds of post-surgery patients. A brilliant way to counteract these feelings and instances is to stay updated and familiar with emerging medical technologies and advancements.

Minute by minute, hour by hour, medical researchers and healthcare providers are looking for new ways to improve existing prosthetic technology. From neural implants and prosthetics that accurately replicate a functioning limb, the medical advancements in the realm of prosthetics are improving by the day.

These new insights and treatments not only give your friend hope for the future, but help them remain optimistic and energetic about their life with a prosthetic.

Minimize Limiting Beliefs and Negative Self-Talk

In conjunction with staying up to date with medical research, you must encourage your friend to manage their self-talk and limiting beliefs once they receive their prosthetic.

While we’re all guilty of criticizing and being overly harsh of ourselves from time to time, this behavior can quickly grow into a negative mindset. Here are some tricks you can discuss with your friend to keep their spirits elevated and optimistic:

  • Begin using a gratitude journal daily.
  • Utilize positive affirmations and mantras regularly.
  • Consume uplifting music, media and imagery.
  • Limit your time spent with negative individuals who minimize your progress.
  • Consider meditative practices and deep-breathing techniques.
  • Devote time for recovery wellness at the end of each day.

Encourage Physical Activity

While keeping step-3 in mind, we must encourage our friend to take a newfound interest in their physical strength and stamina. Sure, building biceps and ripped abdominals are impressive, but being able to move through life with minimal effort while using a prosthetic is awe-inspiring!

Although each patient has a unique set of circumstances, getting in the gym and building their strength is paramount for a fulfilled and active lifestyle. Frameworks such as resistance training, yoga, pilates and calisthenics are efficient for helping post-prosthetic patients gain normality in their lives once more.

While life after a prosthetic may be different than in previous years, it’s not the end! Encourage your friend to explore their new limits and challenge themselves daily. By implementing the tactics and strategies listed above, your friend will soar to new heights and become aware of how strong they are, mentally and physically.