December 16 2021

How to Support a Person with an Amputation

There are many reasons why your loved one could have undergone an amputation or has a scheduled amputation. Whether it is from an accident or a disease such as cancer or diabetes, the important thing is to support them and be there for them when they need you.


If you are the only caregiver to someone who has just had an amputation, there will be a transition period that can be challenging.


Transition Period


Depending on the cause of the amputation, your loved one may or may not have time to accept the fact that they will be losing a limb. Often times, if a limb is being amputated because of a disease your loved one will have the time to know and learn about what it will be like to live without that limb. It can be tougher if the amputation is unexpected. It is important to have a team around you that you can trust who can help with this time both physically and mentally.


Emotional Support


Depending on the circumstances surrounding the amputation of your loved one, supporting their mental health could be just as important as supporting their physical health. Going through emotional stages is completely normal. The stages often look like; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Seeking professional help is also completely normal, whether your loved one is ready for that or not some other activities that you could suggest to your loved ones are finding a support group, eating a well-balanced diet, meditation or breathing exercises and reminding them they are not alone.


Help to Create a Daily Routine and Set Realistic Goals


Finding a daily routine that works for you and your loved one can bring comfort to both of you. It could include some physical activity, something you enjoy doing together and socializing with friends. Setting realistic personal goals will provide motivation to continue on and improve. The medical team that is involved can also discuss and help to set realistic goals.


As a support to someone who has recently went through an amputation just show up for them. Do not overthink things. Know in advance, they are going to go through a range of emotions and physical changes. Be sure to lean on your loved one’s professional team.


WinPO also offers peer support consultations with our Peer Support Specialist.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact WinPO by emailing info@winpo.ca or calling 1-800-661-8777.