Caring for anyone is difficult, even in the best of circumstances.

Child care under normal circumstances is challenging enough. Caring for a young loved one who’s ill or undergone a medical procedure ramps up the challenge significantly. Balancing your normal caregiving duties with the added responsibilities of a treatment path is tough work, but managing home care so he can focus on getting better is critical.

  • File paperwork under key topics like past medical care, benefits, resources, etc.
  • Make sure you keep your child’s medical history and medication list handy, along with notes about any instructions given and who gave them.
  • Be assertive in getting the information you need for your child. Take a list of questions to ask the health care provider. Don’t leave until you receive answers you feel confident you can share with others.
  • Including other family members in the treatment/recovery plan helps spread the burden around and can bring a family much closer together.

Taking care of yourself

Caregiver duties can be stressful, especially when it’s your child who needs special attention. Taking care of yourself along the way allows you to be at your best for your young patient.

In a long recovery process, you will almost certainly reach a point of exhaustion or despair. Check out support groups in your area, where you can process feelings, discuss problems, vent your frustrations but also share in the little victories. Check with your child’s case manager, other health organizations or search online to find caregiver support groups.

When friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers offer to help, accept their kindness, and assign them specific responsibilities. Ask them to bring lunch, visit for a while​, do errands that you have been unable to get to.

You’re going to also need to arrange for some time off on your own or to spend with the rest of your family. A short break to take a walk, a step outside for a breath of fresh air, or an escape to the movies can help. Realize that you and your young patient will feel some separation anxiety, however brief, but you can’t help if you’re also falling apart. A social worker can arrange for a home health aide or respite care, which can free you to take care of personal needs without compromising care.

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