When a Family Member is Ill

When someone is diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening illness, it can send a family into a state of crisis as they try to meet the needs of the patient and the family as a whole. In addition, children may have difficulty understanding what is happening to the person with the illness and are unprepared for the changes the family will likely face. Families often feel a need to be strong for each other and may not be aware of the impact of the illness on the children.

Children may have many questions and concerns about the illness, but they often have difficulty expressing them and may not ask the questions directly. Such questions include:

  • Did I make this happen? 
  • Is this my fault?
  • Will I get sick, too?
  • Who will take care of me? 
  • How will this affect me?

Please refer to the resources on the left side for helpful tips and articles.