Each day, life doles out its share of ups and downs. When you’re faced with a challenge, having a support system can help you to feel less alone, more empowered, and more confident that you’re getting the best care all around.

However, it’s also important to make yourself available to those you love in their times of need. While it sounds simple, it can also be tricky to know what to do, when to do it, and in what capacity. Here are some ways you can provide support when an injured friend or loved one needs it the most.

Be Their Advocate

When someone is going through a hard time physically, whether it’s due to an injury, treatment, or an illness, it can be a very daunting and anxious time all around. If there’s someone in your life who is dealing with something similar, remember that the physical aspect is only a small part of the entire picture. There will undoubtedly be worries over logistics which can be extremely stressful.

For instance, maybe your loved one is going to need inpatient rehabilitation after extensive surgery but doesn’t have the support they need to coordinate the details. Offering to make phone calls, contact family members or help them work with their insurance company can go a long way in making the process a smoother one.

While all situations will vary, the goal here is to help your loved one work through the business side of things — the things that may otherwise be difficult (or even impossible) to do alone.

Help With the Everyday Basics

Have you ever been down and out, and unable to do much of anything? You know the drill. The dishes are piling up, the dog hasn’t had any proper exercise in days, the laundry is starting to smell, the refrigerator is almost empty, and the mailbox is overflowing. It’s not a good feeling.

If your loved one is living at home and unable to keep up with the basic demands of everyday life, now’s the time to step up. Remember that it can be hard for someone to ask for help or provide directions so be prepared to just dive right in.

Take a good look around their living space and see what needs to be done. What can you to do make their life easier? Can you tidy up, eliminate clutter, and deep clean areas such as the bathroom or kitchen? Other things. such as organizing a meal train, could be very beneficial as well.

Be Consistent and Flexible

One of the most common things about crises is that the support tends to be most plentiful when the situation is new. Unfortunately, it fades as life goes on and everyone gets back to routines as usual. However, keep in mind the importance of consistency here. Even if your friend or loved one has improved and become more self-sufficient, it can never hurt to routinely check-in and help however you can.

This might look like picking up their groceries or prescriptions or stopping by the house a few times a week to take their dog for a long walk. Maybe it could be as simple as a visit and a cup of tea — personal connections and communication are wonderful ways to heal as well.

Do your best to remain in their life in whatever capacity makes the most sense and is most beneficial to them. Expect needs to ebb and flow, as this is only a natural part of the healing process. Think of what you’d appreciate should the situation be reversed.

How to go about helping an injured friend or loved one isn’t something with a one-size-fits-all approach. A lot will depend on their personal situation, such as their family dynamics, financial resources, and physical state. Take some time to evaluate everything, having honest conversations with each other along the way.

Is there anyone in your life who could use your help?