It’s Okay To Ask For Help!
As parents or carers we try to put our children’s need first, but we all need help sometimes and there are a variety of places to reach out to, whether you need practical or emotional support or both
Newlife runs its own free helpline provided by trained nurses who are there to listen and offer practical and emotional support, whether you know what you need from them, or just don’t even know where to start. The nurses can help you access services, discuss what benefits you may be entitled to, provide information about conditions or educational issues – and much more. Just call 0800 902 0095 – free from UK mobiles and landlines. This is available Mon-Fri 10am – 3pm with an answer phone facility outside normal hours. For more information www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
If your child has a named diagnosis, there is probably a support group for it. Search online and in Facebook – and if there isn’t one you always have the option of starting your own. For those with children without a diagnosis then www.undiagnosed.org.uk is a where you can find others in similar situations for support. If your child is diagnosed with a rare condition try www.raredisease.org.uk/. Not only will groups such as these provide you with practical and emotional advice tailored to your needs, you may discover that there are people not too far away to meet up with socially, opening up a whole new world of support.
Social Care can provide services to make your life easier, including respite care. To begin the process you will need to ask for a needs assessment. Respite care can provide a much needed break to help you recharge your batteries and help prevent a situation reaching crisis point, but not every family has relatives or friends on hand to help, so your local authority may be able to help. Just get in touch to find their Local Offer. Visit www.gov.uk/help-for-disabled-child or www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/support-parents-disabilities for more information.
Parents and carers of babies in special care can also turn to www.bliss.org.uk – while those with children who have complex needs can also seek the services of a hospice. To find once local to you visit www.hospiceuk.org
For single parents with a disabled child Gingerbread can provide lots of support and advice at www.gingerbread.org.uk/information/disability/if-you-have-a-disabled-child/ and also have a chat function so you ca speak to others facing similar challenges.