Introduction

We are three second year students studying social services in Tikkurila’s campus. Our topic for this blog is informal care for children. We chose this topic because working with children is important to all of us and within all informal care cases, being caregiver to one’s own child is only 15%. Elderly informal care is a more common topic, so we wanted to raise awareness of children’s informal care.

source: Pixabay
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The end

Aurinko Heijastus, Väri, Värikäs, Tausta, Taide

Picture from Pixabay

Thank you for everyone who has read our blog about informal care!

Special thanks to the amazing working life representatives who helped us to understand the life of a caregiver and their children. We have learned a lot while writing this blog and hope that the readers have also received a lot of information about informal care families and the obstacles they face in their life and that our blogs have brought at least some awareness to the topic. 

Masir, Sini & Minna T.

Informal Care – Child’s Perspective

All our blog posts written in Maria’s or Joonatan’s point of view are partly based on the interview we did with our working life representative

Picture from Pixabay

“I really miss my friends. It’s not as fun to play with legos alone, usually friends give ideas and build cities with me. Sometimes mom plays with me, but she just isn’t a very good builder. Arttu is like the best builder in the whole world, he’s gonna be like an archi… tect when he’s older. I’m really jealous of Arttu, he has a big brother that is like over ten, and he is super awesome. Sometimes he played with us, and the best times were when he gave a lot of speed in the swing, I swear I almost spinned around once! Having a big brother or sister would be amazing… I haven’t had anyone to play with for like forever.

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Informal care – Mother’s perspective

All our blog posts written in Maria’s or Joonatan’s point of view are partly based on the interview we did with our working life representative 

Hoito, Auttaa, Tuki, Osallistua, Olla
Picture from pixabay

“At times like these I’m glad I don’t have any more children. Joonatan had a bad dyspnea (shortness of breath) last night. I had to call an ambulance and luckily they got him to calm down and feeling better again. I know many caregivers have more than one child and they must feel exhausted since I am too with only one child. I wouldn’t have time for other kids right now even though Joonatan is getting healthier. 

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Informal Care – Exerting Influence

Picture from Pixabay

For this week’s blog posts we interviewed our second working life representative, Satu from Jaatinen. Jaatinen is an association for families that have children with disabilities. Satu told us how their association took a stand together with Omaishoitajaliitto ry, Pääkaupunkiseudun omaishoitajat ry, Lasten omaishoitajat ry, Kehitysvammatuki 57 ry & Adhd- liitto ry and wrote a commitment (kannanotto) to the city of Helsinki. 

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Informal Care – Child’s perspective

All our blog posts written in Maria’s or Joonatan’s point of view are partly based on the interview we did with our working life representative 

“I haven’t been able to go anywhere in soooo long time. My mom says it’s not just because of my illness anymore but also because there is this other disease called corona that has made many people sick. She seems pretty stressed about it. Like every time mom comes home from the store and I want to see what she has bought she doesn’t let me touch anything before she has washed her hands, changed her clothes and wiped all items with cleaning wipes.   

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Informal care – Mother’s perspective

All our blog posts written in Maria’s or Joonatan’s point of view are partly based on the interview we did with our working life representative

”Corona has affected our, and everybody’s lives greatly, but in different ways. Generally, people have had to change their methods of working, or at least be a lot more careful with hygiene and safety distances. For our life with Joonatan COVID-19 has had different changes. Our life was already very distanced from others, and we had very little contact with others even before the outbreak. No going to the shops, or other public places for that matter. But for our already limited services and support it has affected greatly. For example, temporary caregivers are so busy now that I haven’t been able to have my vacation days for a long time. The caregivers are reserved for the severely disabled or ill. If we’re lucky, we get a worker from the home services to take care of Joonatan for a couple of hours.

Photo:Pixabay
Lue lisää Informal care – Mother’s perspective

Informal care- Section of the law 937/2005

Informal care support is based on an assessment of the client’s situation and the service entity needed for living at home. The city of Vantaa seperates the child’s need for service in two groups:

  1. The injury or disease causes the child to need daily treatment/help for their wellbeing. The caregiver is bound to care for the child continuously. The child being treated has to have at least a moderate difficulties to function compared to healthy children.
  2. The injury or disease causes the child to need  a lot of daily treatment/help for their wellbeing at all hours of a day. The caregiver is bound to care for the child continuously also at night. The child being treated has to have at least a severe difficulties to function compared to healthy children.
Photo: Pixabay

Joonatan belong to the group number one. He doesn’t need acute treatment anymore and the hospital visits have decreased. Maria’s biggest responsibility is making sure that Joonatan takes his medication and that he doesn’t get infections that would make his illness worse again.  

Lue lisää Informal care- Section of the law 937/2005

Informal Care – Child’s perspective

All our blog posts written in Maria’s or Joonatan’s point of view are partly based on the interview we did with our working life representative 

Teddy, Teddy Bear, Yhdistys, Sairas, Pehmolelu
Picture from Pixabay

“My name is Joonatan and I am five years old. Five is way more than four. I live with my mom and she is super strong! One time she carried me from the taxi aaaall the way to the hospital room where the nice doctor talked to me and my mom and did some examination things that would make me feel better. I felt really sick that day. I had a big tummy ache and didn’t want to eat anything because then I had to throw up. I didn’t even want chocolate ice cream which is my favourite kind of ice cream. I was really scared when they wanted to take my blood with a big needle, but now I’m not scared of the needles anymore because I am used to them, but I still don’t like them. One time I was so brave at the hospital, that I got a teddy bear as a prize! His name is Topi and he always comes with me to all of the check-up’s.  

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Informal Care – Mother’s perspective

All our blog posts written in Maria’s or Joonatan’s point of view are partly based on the interview we did with our working life representative 

“Hey, my name is Maria! I’m 35-year-old practical nurse and it’s been one year now since my son Joonatan got diagnosed with leukaemia and I became a caregiver for him. Even though Joonatan has been brave, it was quite a big change in our daily life – and still is. I decided to put my job in nursing home on hold, so I can take best care of him. For a moment the hospital seemed like our second home, but luckily not that much anymore. At the beginning we spent many sleepless nights in there, but fortunately the doctors and nurses were amazingly supportive. Cytostatic treatments are halfway through and we are super happy to hear that they seem to be working. Now we are back living in our own home and only visit the hospital when needed.

Lue lisää Informal Care – Mother’s perspective

Informal care – What is it?

Source: Pixabay

Informal care, or omaishoitajuus, is when a person looks after a relative in need of special care. The most common situation is when a person ages to the point of not being able to take care of themselves anymore, and the spouse or other loved one takes the responsibility of being the caregiver instead of putting them into an elderly home.

The area which is often overlooked is the 15% that take care of children. These include cases of mentally handicapped or otherwise disabled children. There are also the rarer, but equally important cases of children with serious illnesses, for example cancer. People often forget that when being caregiver of one’s child, usually the ”job” lasts for the rest of their lives, not only a few years like in many cases of being a caregiver for elderly. Now I’ll go on to introduce our imaginary example family, whose daily life we’ll be also exploring in the upcoming blogposts.

Lue lisää Informal care – What is it?