Being a parent is stressful even under the best of circumstances, but caring for a child with the complex physical and developmental disabilities that arise from a birth injury can lead to a different degree of pressure. Taking care of a child with a birth injury is a full-time job. Many parents are so focused on the needs of their children that they pay less attention to the effects of a birth injury on their own emotional and mental health. There are resources available to help cope with the emotional impact of caring for a child with a birth injury.
Feelings of isolation can be common in parents caring for a child with a birth injury. Support from others can help parents cope with their feelings and frustrations. New York City offers a variety of caregiver support programs to help parents find counseling, support groups, and caregiver training. Online support groups, such as the Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus Support Facebook group, can connect parents across the country to share their challenges and experiences. Non-profit organizations like the United Brachial Plexus Network and the ADAPT Community Network can also be helpful resources.
Even with support, the stress of caregiving can be overwhelming. Respite is planned or emergency care provided to a child with special needs to provide temporary relief to family caregivers. Respite care can include a well-trained individual who comes to the home for a few hours to relieve the caregiver, drop-off day programs, and longer overnight care outside of the home. When a child has special needs, it can be a real challenge for a parent to hand over responsibility. To be a healthy and effective caregiver, however, it is essential to take a break before becoming physically and emotionally drained.
The Lifespan Respite Care Program, a federally funded grant program, assists states with improving access to respite care and may provide financial assistance. New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition can also help connect parents with respite care assistance. In addition, the Arch National Respite Care Network helps families find private respite care programs in their area.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If your child has suffered a birth injury, contact the attorneys at Bonina & Bonina, PC. We have over 50 years of experience helping New York families dealing with the stress of a birth injury. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule a free consultation.