Ways childhood cancer survivors avoid post traumatic stress disorder

February 10, 2012

sick little girl

Dealing with childhood cancer is not easy, whether you are going through it or have survived it. Cancer at any age can have long lasting effects on a person’s mental health. A study reported that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was found significantly more often by survivors of childhood cancer (those over the age of 18) than by the sibling control subjects. It’s not easy for someone to hear that they have cancer, let alone deal with the treatments that go along with it. It does have a mental and psychological toll on the individual. However, there are ways that one can learn to mentally cope with the disease.

Here are some tips for coping with post traumatic stress from childhood cancer.

Support Group. Know that you are not alone. Many people go through PTSD after surviving cancer. It will comfort you to meet with others that may have similar symptoms or experiences as you. They may be able to offer coping skills or just be there for emotional support. It may be scary to think about sharing your PTSD experience with others, but it can be the best way to help yourself.

Therapy. Seeing a therapist might seem scary, but it’s a great way to overcome PTSD. Different types of therapies may be used. Crisis intervention is a method that may be used in attempt to lessen symptoms and help the patient return to a normal life. The therapist may teach coping skills and problem solving to help the individual change their way of thinking. Relaxation training is another therapy to treat PTSD. This can help the patient change their upsetting thoughts to positive ones and lessen the sensitivity to certain triggers.

Prevention. As always, it is a good idea to become aware of PTSD if you or your loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Being able to understand the disorder is important. You will be able to figure out a way to help your child hone those negative emotions before it becomes PTSD. Joining a support group or seeking therapy whilst dealing with cancer may help the patient in the long run.  A home healthcare nurse will be an asset to your life if you are going through this. Not only will she be there through radiation and chemotherapy, she will be a support system for your family and child. At PSA, we will be there every step of the way. We make sure to comfort both child and family by implementing the right care plan for you. For more information on PTSD, coping with PTSD, and how PSA can help you, visit each to learn more or call to find out how our nurses can assist you and your family.

5 Tips for Families Dealing with Long Term Illness

January 18, 2012
Many times we talk with families who have been trying to care for a family member with long term illness.  However, over time the realize they need assistance and that’s when they consider a home health care nurse.  Our staff is highly trained to assist families physically and emotionally.  Our nurses provide compassion and comfort, when many families need it most.  Some of the tips many of them will give to people include the following:
1. Remember the illness does not define your family.
2. Everyone in the family needs to take time for themselves.  Whether it’s reading a good book, mediation or exercise maintaining hobbies will help everyone stay refreshed.
3. Seek support from families in similar situations.  They’ll help you find your inner-strength. When friends and family offer help, accept and give them tasks to lighten the load.
To learn more, visit our family resource page.

National organizations offer family assistance during the holiday season

December 7, 2011

sick little girl

The holidays are a fun time for all families, however those that are dealing with long term illness, it can also be a tough time to get everything done.  Many families are faced with continuing treatments and surgeries during the holiday season, making it tough to find time for the siblings in the family.  There are several national organizations that assist families with providing outstanding research and care for children; making sure they can enjoy the holidays with their families.  Here’s a list of three that are working to find cures, raise funds and assist with meeting the needs of the entire family:

Do you know of other local and community organizations that are a making a difference in families lives?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Coordinating a discharge plan with your home healthcare nurse

November 23, 2011

doctors and nurses

Have you considered how important it is to have a discharge plan in place?  Or even discussing with your home healthcare nurse what steps need to be taken before bringing your loved one home from the hospital?  According to Family Caregiver Alliance there are several things you should have laid out and coordinated with your home healthcare nurse before bringing your child home from the hospital.  It can mean quicker recovery time and reassuring everyone you have the proper medications prescribed and available.  Some of their tips include:

  • Have a list of diet and activities
  • Discussing home medical equipment with physician and home care nurse; making sure you have everything needed before bringing your child home
  • How will daily duties be handled and who is in charge of what areas, including transportation and chores
  • A written plan and guide, preferably in multiple languages
  • A list of community organizations that can assist with transportation, counseling or even meals

To learn more on how to have a complete discharge plan prepared, visit the Family Caregivers Alliance.

Benefits of utilizing a PSA Healthcare nurse

November 16, 2011

infant vomiting

Having a family member with a long term illness brings about a lot of questions many families rarely face.  However, when the time comes to consider finding a nurse who you trust to care for your child or parent many people are unsure where to begin.  Home healthcare nursing is an intimate situation, due to the time that nurse spends in your home and one-on-one with your loved one.  Keeping this in mind we have worked to make sure we offer families the best home healthcare nurses in the industry.  We work to pair nurses with your family that will make your entire family comfortable and secure.

What are other benefits about working with us to find the ideal home healthcare nurse for your family?  We have more than 3,100 skilled nurses who are trained and specialized in pediatric care.  We make sure our nurses, as well as our families can get their questions answered by reliable, clinical customer support 24/7.  We also offer a multi-disciplinary team approach, giving families the best all around care in the industry.  We pride ourselves on being leaders in pediatric home healthcare and make sure our approach remains family centered.  To learn more please visit us our website or call us at 770-441-1580.

Reduce and manage stress with yoga

October 4, 2011

woman doing yoga

Last week I talked about how to help your children who are dealing with the stress of a sibling facing long term illness.  This week I wanted to touch on how you can reduce and manage your own stress during this period.  Many parents sacrifice their own health, when caring for a sick child.  It’s perfectly normal, however as parents we need to remember it is our job to also care for ourselves so we can be there for our children.  KidsHealth recognizes that many of us parents forgo our own healthy eating habits and exercise during these times.  This is why they have created a wonderful resource of suggestions for parents who need to manage stress.  One of the suggested methods is by practicing yoga.  This form of exercise that incorporates controlled breathing, postures and mental discipline is widely known for dramatically reducing stress levels.

According to KidsHealth, parents should make sure they are doing some form of exercise 20 minutes daily to reduce stress.  Whether it’s going for a run or learning a simple yoga routine, you’ll find positive results.  If you choose to discover how good yoga can be for managing stress, check with the local YMCA or fitness center for classes.  If you feel you can’t commit to a class, then look at some of the yoga videos on YouTube.  There’s a wide variety for beginners to advanced, giving you the opportunity to find the perfect one for your level of exercise.  And of course, talk with your doctor about how yoga can help you manage the stress of being a caregiver to a sick family member.  To learn more about the benefits of yoga, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.

Helping children cope with long term illness in the family

September 29, 2011

dad and daughter

Sometimes it can be difficult finding ways to help children cope with long term illness in your family.  Many times they don’t express the confusion or fear in ways we expect.  We may assume they are coping fine with the situation, however studies show children do not handle stress the way adults anticipate.  If you are wondering if your children are handling the confusion or changes well, consider the advice from About Kids Health.  They have a wealth of information that answers questions on how to help your children open up and share their feelings.  Here are several points to remember when helping your children cope with long term illness.

  • Talk with your children about their feelings.  Allow them to ask questions and answer them honestly.
  • Prepare your children for hospital and doctor visits.
  • Keep a routine that allows them to feel involved in sibling care.
  • Find time to spend with your children outside of doctor or hospital visits.
Do you have suggestions on how families can help their children deal with long term illness?  Leave a comment below and share your advice.