Your Healthcare Team
When your child is ill, you may have to make difficult choices and decisions. It can help to understand your child’s illness and how it is likely to progress. Your healthcare team will work with you and your child to understand the risks and benefits of different kinds of treatment and to make a plan that will help your child have the best quality of life possible.
Who decides? When children are ill, parents or guardians usually act as “surrogate decision-makers” to make choices about the child’s treatment. That’s because most children are too young to be able to make complicated decisions for themselves. Read more
What's the “right” decision When your child has a serious illness, you may have many hard decisions to make. You may feel a lot of pressure to make the “right” decision. But it can be very hard to know what is “right” for your child. Read more
Decisions and conflict You may have to make difficult, complicated decisions about your child’s care. It’s not always clear how to manage the risks and benefits of different treatment options. Read more
Advance care planning Advance care planning is the process of preparing for changes in your child’s health. This process can include making practical plans, as well as thinking about mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your child’s care. An advance care plan can be written in a document that sets out your family’s wishes if and when your child’s health changes. Read more
Your healthcare teams
Healthcare services and supports for my child and my family When your child has a serious or life limiting illness, planning to meet their care needs is a dynamic, ever-changing process. What works well for your child and family today may change as the illness progresses or stabilizes. Read more
Working with the healthcare team Your child’s healthcare team is there to treat your child’s illness and to support you and your family. You can help them provide good care for your child by sharing information, asking questions, and finding ways to support your child during their illness. Read more
Moving from pediatric to adult services In Canada, children reach the “age of majority” at age 18 or age 19 depending on where they live. This is the age when a person is considered to be an adult. If your child has serious health issues and/or a disability, this transition to being a legal adult may lead to changes in healthcare services, medical decision-making, legal matters, financial supports, and education, community and social supports. Read more
Culture and spirituality
Culture and spirituality in healthcare If your child is staying in a hospital, hospice or other health care setting, it can be difficult to live according to your culture and to follow your own religious and cultural practices. Medical care may disrupt prayers or other rituals and routines. Meal times and hospital food, ways of speaking, and topics of conversation may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Read more
What is palliative care?
Palliative care explained
“My child lived with a life-limiting illness and we were able to access palliative support for 5 years before his actual death. So palliative care was not just at the end of life but was a huge factor in quality of life and being able to extend very joyful events and help with the pain management and support the quality of living. In palliative care, it’s not just about end of life. For us, it was very much about the quality of life. And then that carried through to his quality of death as well” - Kim, mother of KevinRead more
Myths and facts about palliative care Here are some common myths about palliative care, along with the facts and some possible benefits to think about. Read more