Children diagnosed with a complex medical condition or disability require ongoing specialized care both inside and outside the home. Medical conditions can vary from rare illnesses to premature births. Having a pediatric healthcare system is incredibly important, as it will provide you with support and guidance as you raise your child.
VNA Health Group offers a wide range of services for children and families with complex medical needs, such as Pediatric Home Care Services, Early Intervention, Special Child Health Services (SCHS) and NJ Integrated Care for Kids (InCK). Contact us today to determine which services can help you and your family. To learn more about available programs, call 855-619-4445.
In the meantime, here are five tips for raising children with complex medical conditions.
1. Educate yourself on your child’s condition and treatment.
Knowledge is power! The more you know about your child’s medical condition, the more you can help them. Learn what you can about your child’s condition, along with the treatment options. Share age-appropriate information with your child. You can keep track of your child’s health information and medications by using a notebook or binder.
2. Maintain a structured routine.
It’s important to maintain a structured, age-appropriate routine. Children thrive off routines – even simple routines that include sleep, play and meal times are beneficial. Having a stable routine also ensures that your child takes their medications on time. Here are some tips for planning a balanced schedule for your household.
3. Arrange for home health services.
Home health services refer to supportive care in the home. These services are a great option for children with complex medical conditions because they don’t have to leave the home to receive skilled medical care.
Your child can stay in a familiar environment while getting routine checkups, physical therapy and assistance with activities of daily living. Your support system will include various specialists, therefore, it is important to maintain open communication with multidisciplinary professionals.
4. Identify resources in your community.
- Look for resources in your community, such as support groups and scheduled meetups. This will allow you to meet others who are also parenting children with complex medical illnesses. Early Intervention can help children birth to 3 years of age that have delays in their development. They work with the families in their homes to offer support
- The school district you reside in offers a preschool program for children with developmental delays. Depending on the circumstances, the school district may be required to provide a nurse to be with your child during the time they’re in school. In some cases they would provide services in your home. They can provide therapy & help with equipment your child may need while in school.
- Other resources to look into include the federal government’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Medicaid and durable medical equipment (DME) companies.
5. Practice good self-care.
It’s important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Practice good self-care by eating balanced meals, getting enough rest at night and making time for exercise. Allow one-on-one time with your medically complex child, as well as your other children.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to family members, friends and neighbors for help. It takes a village! You should also block out time for yourself. Everyone needs time to unwind and relax. And if you need to, utilize grocery delivery services, meal delivery services, home cleaning services and others.
VNA Health Supports Families and Children
Raising a child with a complex medical condition can be a challenge, but it’s also a rewarding experience that can change your perspective on life and strengthen the parent-child bond. Be sure to align yourself with the best resources in your community, as they will help you raise your child safely and securely while also supporting you along the way.