Taking care of the family
Having a child in the hospital can be a stressful and emotionally demanding time for family members so it's important to take care of yourself.
- Be sure to get enough food, rest and exercise.
- When at the hospital, try to take breaks or go for a walk. Volunteers are available to stay with your child while you take a little bit of time for yourself.
- Talk to someone you trust about feelings, worries and fears associated with your child's hospitalization. You can also ask to speak to the social worker or spiritual support staff member on your child's care team.
- Ask for help from friends and family members.
What friends and family members can do to help:
- Stay with your child while you take a break
- Keep you company in the hospital
- Call other friends and family members with updates on your child's condition
- Take care of your other children
- Cook meals for you and your family
- Do household chores such as cleaning and laundry
An illness or hospitalization may also affect your other children. Siblings may feel confused, jealous, scared, worried or even embarrassed. Explain to them what is happening. Prepare them for what they will see, hear, smell and feel when they visit their sibling in the hospital.
If you bring them to the hospital to visit and play with their sibling, make sure the visits are short since they might get bored or impatient. Encourage contact between your children through drawings, photos, notes, and phone calls. Try to continue normal daily routines at home and, if possible, try to spend some special time with your other children.