Patients living with a terminal illness, and those who care for them, are confronted with a profound and difficult situation. Questions about coping, living fruitful days, interacting with loved ones, and preparing for the inevitable will certainly arise. In this guide we'll help answer these questions by connecting you to advice and information from experts around the Web.
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The difficulty of coping with a terminal illness is often exacerbated when children are involved. Whether your child is ill or simply needs to understand the illness of a loved one, you'll find resources here to help you communicate more effectively. The sites in this section explain how children see and conceptualize death, and provide age-appropriate communication tips to help you discuss the hard facts of life and death.
- Most children don't spend a great deal of time thinking about the future; they live in the present, for the here and now. This fundamental difference in their approach to existence can make it difficult for them to understand terminal illnesses. Sites that discuss child psychology can be useful for helping you generate an approach to the conversation.
For advice on talking to children about terminal illness ...
End-of-Life Care for Children
is an extremely well-done site that is directed at medical professionals but quite useful for parents as well. Included are video interviews with a doctor and nurse who regularly care for terminally ill children, as well as a parent who lost a child. The glossary alone is worth a visit to the site. Best of all, the contents of the Web site can be downloaded into a printable file.
This Baylor University page
is based on the book, Terminal Illness: A Guide to Nursing Care, by Charles Kemp. It discusses how children view death and dying, their developmental stages, how to talk to children about someone who is terminal, and how to support a grieving child.
For helping a terminally ill child ...
The Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation
helps children who are seriously ill and their families by providing entertainment and family activities to help them cope. Share your story with the Foundation or locate a local chapter or regional office in your area.
The Starlight Children's Foundation Canada
has a site available in both English and French. It provides a "Kids Activity Network" to help seriously ill children and their families engage in local entertainment activities.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation
grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Read "Wish Stories" for inspiration and hope, or visit the "Refer a Child" link to recommend your child for a wish fulfilled.
Unfortunately, in addition to the physical and emotional burdens of a terminal illness, there are ... read more »
Support is imperative for helping patients and caregivers get through this difficult and ... read more »
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