Caring for a child with a prolonged or chronic illness is stressful and draining − mentally, physically, and emotionally. The entire family is negatively impacted in a variety of ways when a child has Juvenile Arthritis:
- Extra time spent for appointments and care for the child
- Scheduling difficulties and conflicts
- Financial hardship
- Missed school days for the child
- Impact on the parent’s employment
- Emotional, physical, and educational adaptations required for the child
- Mixed emotions and feelings of loss for the healthy siblings
- Physical and emotional exhaustion for the caregiver
There are so many questions, unknown variables, and decisions to be made. Fortunately, your family doesn’t have to face this alone. Health providers, support groups, social workers, and family friends can all play a role in helping your family get through this:
- Feel free to ask your doctor as many questions as you want.
- Frequently check the bulletin boards at your child’s medical facility.
- Network with other parents.
- Don’t be afraid to ask friends to run errands, provide transportation, or fill in for your caretaking duties.
- Regularly visit JA Alliance and your local Arthritis Foundation sites for support groups, classes, and events.
To assist you in your quest for information about your child’s disease and your new role as caretaker, we’ve prepared a list of useful links. Please check these out by clicking on the topics of your choice.