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  • Thoughts on caring for my mum at home with 4 year old in the house



    1 reply

    Hi, I am in the process of working towards getting my mum home to me for palliative care. She already had quite advanced MS but 2 weeks ago we found out she has stage 4 lung cancer and tumours in her brain and liver. I am scared about whether my husband and I can cope, that we don't know what to expect, and I don't know how best to talk to my 4 year old about this and prepare him for Granny moving in. Any thoughts on what I should consider? How to talk to my son about this in an age appropriate way? Any preparation I can do for this to make it easier to cope? And if anyone has any advice about what I may expect and how to handle this also welcome. Thank you in advance.

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  • David

    Hi Lindsay,


    We are sorry to hear about your mum’s diagnosis and everything the family is experiencing. Understandably this can bring lots of difficult questions and it’s natural for any kind of uncertainty to be scary, especially when it involves terminal illness and a close family member. Being informed can be reassuring and knowing what to expect might make the future seem a little less intimidating.


    Hopefully other members of the Marie Curie community will be able to share their valuable insights and what they found useful in caring for a loved one or talking with children about a grandparent’s illness. I can also share a few helpful resources that we have available for those facing this situation.


    We hope that your mum gets all the palliative care and support she needs from professionals but, as carers, you and your husband’s role is also one of the most important. Our Being there section of the Maire Curie website contains information tailored for carers and family members. Including practical advice on everyday care, ways in which carers can access the support they need when looking after a loved one, and what to expect at the end of life. It’s important to reach out for help if you’re ever worried, this could be your mum’s GP or a nurse - our Support Line also has palliative care nurses available to speak with for information.


    Talking to a child about terminal illness and the prospect of your mum moving in is not easy and it’s normal to feel anxious about this conversation. While you know your son better than anyone, you may find our website content on talking to children helpful. There are several pages on starting conversations with children, questions they might ask, as well as books that can help. We also produce a booklet about this called Supporting children when someone has a terminal illness. It’s available to read online or our Support Line can send you a free copy. You can of course speak with us too, to share any worries you have or ask questions, on Freephone 0800 090 2309.


    Take care,

    David - Support Line Officer

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