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For Families

 

Preparing Your Child To Return Home From Hospital

Check home environment to ensure safety.

  • Accommodations, support, equipment

Ensure your schedule is manageable for your family.

  • Parents’ work schedule, child’s schedule for school, therapy, day care and follow-up medical appointments

Emergency contacts.

  • Compile a list of emergency contact numbers

Ensure medical instructions, follow-up appointments and medications are in place before you leave the hospital.

 

Prepare Your Child For Returning To School

Set up a meeting with your child’s teachers and relevant school staff.

  • Ensure the appropriate accommodations; supports and equipment are in place at the school before the child returns
  • Develop a clear understanding of what the expectations will be for your child

Set a schedule that will promote a gradual return. 

Talk to your child about what to expect when he/she returns.

  • Getting a lot of attention from classmates
  • Sitting in a noisy classroom environment
  • Navigating the busy hallways
  • Classmates asking about their injury

Prepare your child with what to say when classmates ask about his/her injury.

 

Prepare your child for returning to community activities.

Speak to your medical team about what recreational activities are appropriate for
your son/daughter to take part in when they go home.

Speak to your Family Doctor, Pediatrician and/or Neurologist before returning to
recreational activities.

Call your local community centre for a list of adapted sports or programs if applicable.
Talk to recreational leaders about your child’s brain injury and the limitations,
safety concerns or other considerations relevant to the activity.

EXAMPLES INCLUDE:

  • Coach
  • Piano Teacher
  • Mentor
  • Gym Teacher
  • Swimming instructor
 

Talking to your family members about your child’s brain injury

Many people have little knowledge of brain injury, so you may find yourself doing a lot of educating.
Provide age appropriate information (children vs. adults).


Give family members roles and ways they can help, especially when you first get home.

  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Taking out the trash
  • Making meals
  • Packing lunches

This will help take some of the stress away and give members of your family, especially other children,
simple and helpful ways to help out and contribute to the family during a time of need.
 

Taking care of yourself during your child’s rehabilitation

Asking for help.

Some people find it difficult to ask for help. Here are some examples of ways in which family, friends,
neighbors and even strangers can be helpful in times of need:
  • Mow the lawn
  • Plow the driveway
  • Take in the mail
  • Feed and care for a pet
  • Make meals
  • Provide transportation to and from school for other children
  • Play dates and activities with the other children
  • Walk the dog a couple days/week
 
If you have people in your life who want to help, these are just a few practical examples that you can give them that may help take some of the burden off of your family. Many people are happy to have practical ideas and feel good about being able to assist!
 

Taking time for yourself.

Taking time for yourself is also important if you want to be as mentally and physically healthy as possible to be able to care for your family.
 

Here are some things you can do to stay healthy:

  • Go for walks – even short ones will help!
  • Go to the gym
  • Read
  • Schedule in “down time” for yourself. Utilize your family and friends to help make this possible by taking the kids for an hour.
  • Eat regularly and properly
  • Meditate or do yoga
  • Write in a journal
  • Schedule coffee/tea with a friend