Family as Caregiver
When a family member faces a terminal or life-limiting illness, particularly when a patient enrolls in a hospice program, families are often deeply engaged as caretakers.
Our patients may be children, and their parents and caregivers are trying to meet the needs of their young siblings. Other caregivers are adult children caring for two parents with chronic illnesses or in different stages of need. Family members may be serving as caregivers for the first time; other caregivers may have been providing support for decades. In many cases, however, caregiving responsibilities change after an admission to a hospice program. And in most cases, the role as caregiver continues to evolve over the remainder of the patient’s life.
When children are part of the family system, you may wish to find a hospice program that provides support specifically geared for these youngest family members. For example, MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care offers a creative arts therapy program. Art & Soul™ Creative Arts Therapy employs specially trained child life specialists as well as licensed music and art therapists to help meet the psychological and emotional needs of children facing the loss of a parent, grandparent or sibling.
There are many useful resources available to family caregivers. See our resources section for those we have found most helpful.