When you learn that your child has a disability or chronic illness, it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions. Many parents require time to grieve as they adjust to their new life. Coping with this change and uncertainty can take a toll on a family and their ability to provide each other with support. This is made even harder when families don’t have anyone they can relate to.
While having a child with special needs is not an easy journey, it is not something that you have to endure alone. There are a number of support services and resources available, including respite care. Respite pediatric nursing is identified as a top priority for families with medically complex children.
As you learn more about respite home services, we hope that you will be more open to utilizing them as well – and without the guilt. Taking a break is good for everyone!
What is Respite Pediatric Nursing?
Respite care provides parents and caregivers with short-term child care needs. These services can take place in your home, at a daycare center or at a residential facility.
Continuum Pediatric Nursing provides pediatric home care, as we find this works best for medically complex children. They can remain in a familiar environment, and the parents don’t have to worry about moving their child and their medical equipment.
Luckily, respite nursing is flexible for all families and situations. You can use these services periodically or on a regular basis. Some of the things a respite nurse can provide are:
- Activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing
- Creating a safe, supportive environment
- Participating in different activities
- Taking medications on time
- Spending time outdoors
- Getting in and out of bed
Why is Respite Care Important for Families?
At Continuum Pediatric Nursing, we know how important your child’s well being is to you. But your health and wellness matter, too. Taking a break from your responsibilities recharges your mental and physical health. You can use this break to go out for dinner, visit with friends or spend some quiet time with your favorite book or TV series.
Here are some reasons why pediatric home health services are a blessing to families with medically complex children:
- Find balance. Finding balance is challenging when you have a child with special needs, especially when you have other children. Your life can’t be all hospitals, blood tests and medications. Fortunately, respite care helps the whole family find balance.
- Enjoy a break. We all need breaks from time to time. Don’t feel guilty. Respite care allows you to take a break from the daily care routine. You can use this time for anything you want – you don’t have to explain yourself to us!
- Give your child a change of pace. Children, too, enjoy having a fresh face in the home. They can enjoy some different activities without having to leave their home, such as going outdoors or engaging in music therapy.
- Recharge your batteries. Some time alone can provide you with the renewal and relaxation you deserve. Decrease stress, connect with yourself and return home to your family in a better mood.
Is Your Special Needs Child Eligible for Respite Services?
Parents are people too and not superhumans. Continuing to push yourself beyond your limits can result in mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. If you end up getting sick, you won’t have the energy to take care of your child. Most families with a medically complex child should qualify for some amount of respite nursing. You should consult your insurance benefits or your Medicaid/Waiver eligibility. Continuum Pediatric Nursing can help you with this.
Not to mention, taking care of a medically complex child can take a toll on relationships. When was the last time you and your partner spent time together? Have you enjoyed one-on-one time with your other children? Respite care grants you the time to relax, recharge and improve other aspects of your life. This is not selfish.
If you are wondering if you can benefit from respite services, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Am I having trouble finding temporary care for my child?
- Is having a night out without the kids important to me?
- Would I be a better parent if I took a break once in a while?
- What are some things I would do if I had a trustworthy companion for my child?
Where to Find Pediatric Respite Care
Respite care is offered from pediatric home healthcare agencies like Continuum Pediatric Nursing, as well as residential facilities and daycare centers. There are benefits to each, but we find that families with young children tend to prefer in-home services. This way, they don’t have to take their child out of the home, expose them to illness or disrupt their schedule.
As you consider your options for respite nursing, here are some things to know about our healthcare services:
- Over 25 years of pediatric nursing excellence. Our highly trained clinical team has extensive experience in pediatric home care. We are nurse managed and Joint Commission Accredited.
- Personalized attention for each family. We know that we aren’t just caring for the patient – we are caring for the family as well. This is why each family receives personalized attention to meet their needs.
- Reduction in nursing home visits and ER trips. In-home pediatric nursing is proven to reduce hospitalizations and trips to the emergency room. If a patient does get sick, they’re often able to recover at home with the help of a home health nurse.
- Financial staff available. Our financial team makes home health care as affordable and attainable as possible. We are certified by Medicaid and privately owned. We can also provide information on the Katie Beckett Waiver.
Getting Started with Pediatric Home Health
It’s normal to have some hesitation about leaving your child with a respite nurse. That is why we encourage you to go slow and do what’s right for your family. As you get more comfortable with these services, chances are, you’ll be more eager to take advantage of them. And, your child will get to know their nurses and look forward to seeing them.