Children with Chronic Illnesses and Multiple Carers

Children suffering with chronic illnesses is not uncommon anymore.  Over the last century, there has been a shift in the different type of illnesses children suffer with. Now 27% of children will suffer from some form of chronic condition, which means the focus for parents has shifted from prevention to long-term care.

The makeup of families and lives has changed too. More women are working, all children go to school and care responsibilities are often split amongst several people. For parents who have children with a chronic illness, that can cause concerns.

A chronic illness covers a range of conditions eg. asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease and cerebral palsy. It also covers a number of behavioural issues like ADHD and hyperactivity disorder, which can require medication to keep under control.

Multiple Carers

When a single person is caring for a child with a chronic condition, it may be easier to keep track of medicines, as long as they are organised and have a system in place.  When there are more carers involved it can become more complicated. Without any form of coordination, care for children with chronic illnesses and multiple carers can easily become crisis oriented. Some areas of care may be duplicated, some may be done to an unsatisfactory level, while others are not done at all. This can become more difficult when there are appointments to go to, medications to be administered and treatments to be given.

This can have a very negative effect on the child. In order to manage multiple careers properly, you need a game plan and some organisation.

Create a Plan and Keep a Record

Everyone who will be caring for your child needs to understand exactly what their responsibilities are.  Draw up a plan and make sure it is communicated clearly and have a system or book in place where a record and notes can be kept with emergency contact numbers. This information will then need to be passed onto the next carer. There are a few templates available which may be useful.

If your child needs to have medicines or treatment during the school day then speak directly with the school ensuring they understand and have all the necessary details.  You will also need to know their policy too.

Train Everyone Involved in your Child’s Care

Some chronic conditions can be managed by the child depending on their age and their condition, but others will require an adult to administer medication, treatment or just help manage the symptoms. Sometimes this will be simple, like giving an inhaler, but sometimes it could be more serious like administering an EpiPen or clearing the airways of a child with cystic fibrosis.

Make Sure Carers can Access Medicines Easily

Children suffering from chronic illnesses often have to take medication to manage their symptoms. Some of those conditions might require two, three or dozens of different medications. Some might need regular doses at set times, others might be occasional or just once daily, and some might be ‘for emergencies only’. Whichever they are, you need to make sure that they are easy to find and always at hand when you need them. For further tips on Storing Medicines look at our previous blog.

Depending on the complexity of your child’s medicine regime, the Medi-Redi medicine timer may be able to help.  It is programmable for multiple medicines and is handy to store and transport medicines with flexible storage space.  It also keeps a history so you can double check.

To order yours today, click here.