Your Family

Your Family

Your child’s illness will affect each family member, each relationship in your family, and your family as a whole. Nearly every part of your life will be affected: your work, your finances, and your ability to care for your children. Your culture and spirituality will shape the way you make choices about your child’s care. There are people and financial supports that can help.

Being a caregiver

The impact of caregiving In one way or another, every part of your life will be affected by your child’s illness. Even when you are working or caring for your other children or family members, your heart and mind may be focused on the child who is sick. This constant attention can be exhausting and can have a big impact on you, both physically and emotionally.  Read more
Taking care of yourself You may be so busy taking care of your sick child and your family that you put your own needs last. You may feel that it would be selfish to take care of yourself when your child is sick. Taking care of yourself is NOT selfish.  Read more

Illness is a family experience

Impact on families and relationships Your child’s illness will affect each family member, each relationship, and the family as a whole. Everything feels different and more difficult because of changes in routines, changes in roles and responsibilities, and because of the added stress including sometimes being separated from each other when your child is in hospital Read more
Impact on siblings When a child has a serious illness, every part of their siblings’ lives is affected. Normal routines may change because of their brother or sister’s needs Read more
Making memories Making memories is a natural part of family life and childhood, but when your child has a serious illness, you may feel even more determined to create special memories. You want to capture every moment you can, but at the same time, the need or pressure to create memories painfully reminds you that your time together is limited and precious. Read more

Culture and spirituality

Culture, spirituality, and illness Culture and spirituality shape the way you live, how you make choices, and how you find meaning in your life. When your child has a serious illness, it can be harder to live according to your culture and to follow your own religious and cultural practices. Your culture and spirituality will affect your ideas about illness, treatment, and death. Read more

Supports and financial health

People supports You are not alone on this journey with your child. Resources are available to help your child and your family. Think of these resources as a scaffold around your family, meant to help keep you strong on difficult days. Read more
Financial supports Healthcare is publicly funded in Canada, but there are some direct and many indirect costs for families when a child is seriously ill or lives with a significant disability. You may have to take time away from work, or pay for extra expenses for transportation, parking, over-the-counter medications, medical equipment, or extra help at home. Read more