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Tips for reducing stress and staying strong

Taking care of a family is demanding under any circumstances: doing laundry, making meals, doing housework, juggling schedules, getting kids where they need to go, and generally seeing to everyone’s needs.

It’s much more challenging and complicated with a medically-fragile child at home. In the hospital, your child was cared for in an intensive care unit by many medical experts with years of training, working in shifts, and with lots of resources.

At home, you and your family perform similar duties – with no signing out at the end of a shift. Even with all the help available – training, professional staff in your home, high-tech equipment and lots of support services – caring for a sick child at home can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Stress relieving tips

Here are some tips for reducing stress so you can find some respite and help your family stay strong:

  • Take a break. Find time for yourself, whether it’s alone, with a spouse, your other children, or outside the home with friends and other families. Take a nap. Make date nights with your spouse. Give each of your children one-on-one time with mom and/or dad.
  • Take advantage of having a nursing staff in the home to find time to do other activities as a family while they care for your child.
  • Encourage family and friends to go through ongoing training so they can provide back up.
  • Seek support. Communicate with other parents in similar situations. Use the PHS blog to share advice and information. Make use of your PHS social worker, support services, and other community resources.

Adjust to the new “normal”

Take your medically complex children out in the real world. As long as he or she is stable and not in danger, let your kid be a kid. Learn how to adapt and function under your new “normal.” Don’t let the condition allow you to forget they are children and that the flexibility to do things together with the family is one of the best things about being home.

What’s your story?

How do you relieve the stress and strain of caring for a technology-dependent child at home? Do you have any tips for parents on how to stay mentally and physically healthy? How to stay strong as a family?

We’d love to hear from you.

Originally published: July 9, 2010

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