Giving parents a moment of relaxation
When parents receive a diagnosis of cancer for their child, they have to completely reorganise their everyday life – in a period where they are naturally both worried and sad. Hospitals are special worlds we find exhausting because they show the infinite fragility of our existence in every corridor we pass through. The hospital staff puts a lot of energy into the care of young cancer patients both to support them and their families, and comfort them in difficult moments. Medical diagnoses are explained and help is provided to cope with everyday work and family life, which has to continue alongside therapy.
Children need their parents so they can better cope with the illness and the pain they have to suffer because of it. However, parents are put to the test during the sometimes very long hospital stays. The permanent stress is compounded by restless nights and feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is why we launched a pilot project in 2019, which was aimed at offering affected parents a moment of well-being and relaxation. The idea behind it was that they could recharge their batteries and return to their child’s hospital bed with a lighter heart.
We were able to restart the pilot phase last autumn – after a long period in which all personal contact was forbidden because of the pandemic. Twice a month, the staff at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and Geneva University Hospital (HUG) offered relaxing messages which were tailored to parents’ requirements. This makes it possible for them to get rid of tension in a calm atmosphere and take a welcome break.
You will find more details (in French) on the activities of the member organization here.