Reflections on some learning from the Covid-19 pandemic:
support for parents of children facing serious parental illness and death needs to be integral to health care.
Keywords:parental bereavement, children and families, pre-bereavement, Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of pre-bereavement care for families and children, especially when faced with parental death. Holistic family care tailored to meet the needs of the particular crisis the family face is hugely challenging for practitioners to provide whilst also caring for patients. Parents need specific support which is appropriate to their children’s needs for information, expressing their opinions and sharing their emotional responses about what they are facing. Parental bereavement has wide reaching consequences for children’s’ lives and we know that the ability of the surviving parent to support them is crucial. Starting to support parents before death provides the opportunity to ensure children are included in ways that are appropriate for that family. If we agree that children have rights and that pre-bereavement support is a core health need, then we must find ways of providing it. A discrete service to provide this specialised support across all areas of care is needed.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Catriona Macpherson
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This article first appeared in Bereavement online [date] bereavementjournal.org