Impact on family

Parents

As many transplants are done out of province, one or both parents will need to take time off work. It is not unusual to have unexpected medical expenses. In addition, a parent who is a living donor will especially need to ensure support is in place for the other parent and the rest of the family as they are also recovering from their medical procedure.

Parent to Parent Conference Tips and Strategies

1) Tips on self-care and stress management:

  • Exercise daily, even if it’s a 15 minute walk
  • Eating well, even if you don’t feel like it
  • Do something for yourself
  • Seeking out professionals and/or friends to talk about my child’s diagnosis
  • Going to work gives me a different focus
  • Go away on a vacation without the children
  • Asking for help from family and friends
  • Remembering to play and have fun with your children
  • Celebrating the small successes
  • Keeping line of communication open with your partner/spouse
  • Sharing care responsibilities with your partner/spouse
  • Keep on hoping

2) Strategies for communicating with your child’s health care team:

  • Don’t be afraid to call members of your child’s team when you have concerns

3) Strategies for advocating for your child:

  • Outlining an emergency plan with your child’s school, daycare, etc.
  • Request a letter from your physician/nurse for an emergency plan to provide to school
  • Educating others about your child’s condition

Siblings

Having a sibling who has had an organ transplant can impact the other children in your family. Because parents need to focus on the child who has had the transplant they may not be able to fully attend to the needs of their other children. Siblings may be worried about the health of their brother or sister, they may miss parental attention and changes in the child’s behaviour may become noticeable. It’s important for parents to reach out into the community or hospital team for help, ideas and support.

Check out our “It’s All About Me”
SIBLING Day CONFERENCE Presentation by Dr Maru Barrera
(1.2 MB PDF download)

Encouraging your child

Communicate with your child about the lifelong importance of taking their medications, learning to take care of themselves, listening to what their bodies are telling them and becoming their own medical advocate as they get older. Encourage your children to communicate with you about how they are feeling, asking for help when needed and asking questions about medical issues they may not understand.

Re-entering school

Each child’s needs after a transplant is unique and as such, it is very important for parents to support their child’s school in preparing a healthy and safe environment for your child. Work with your medical team, your child’s teacher, the school and public health nurse to create a back to school ongoing health care plan. You may wish to include your child in developing this plan to find out what s/he feels is important. It can be helpful to set up an ongoing school contact that the child feels comfortable going to if they are not feeling well or if they need medical assistance.

If you have questions please contact COTS.