As the world has finally placed an emphasis on the importance of education, more people than ever are packing up and heading to college. Of course, the responsibilities that you once had do not disappear simply because you are embarking on a new phase of life; those who care for a family or sick relative understand that greatly. However, how do you maintain this important responsibility while you are away at school, and who do you trust to take over?


Hospice Care

Those who are especially sick deserve the utmost respect and care performed by professionals. This is perhaps the place for your sick loved one that could bring you the most comfort–ultimately allowing you to focus on your studies. Approximately 1.6 million people in the United States receive care from a hospice center, such as Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, annually so there is no denying the professionalism and experience to be found at these facilities. Of course, your free-time permits visitation, which further alleviates the stress of caring for your loved one while you are away.


Understand Your School’s Policies

Most institutions are fairly strict when it comes to absenteeism, but most of them also have a subsection describing their policies when it comes to students with ill parents or relatives that are in their direct care. If your family member’s illness will consume a good portion of your time, or if you are their emergency contact, it is important to notify your professor’s immediately of any prospective absences. Most of the time, they will acquaint you with online learning, the semester’s schedule, and will perhaps allow you to sit in one of their other classes.


Coinciding with this task is to outline your time and how it relates to each course. Managing your time is key, and taking the initiative to establish a plan is crucial. This will also demonstrate to your professor and institution that your education is important, and allow them to work with you more meticulously.


Financial Assistance

The thought of working as you juggle school and caring for your family is laughable, really. Of course, the financial burden is anything but humorous, and only further contributes to your stress, so what are you to do? Surely financial aid and student loans are beneficial when it comes to helping with tuition, but plenty of scholarship programs exist that focus on students caring for ill family members. The Merfeld Family Foundation Scholarship Fund is only one of many available options.


In summary, school is stressful enough and working towards a degree is seemingly impossible when your mind is elsewhere. Investing in services that can care for your loved ones, like hospices, are great options that will allow you to feel at ease as your family is well cared for. Working with your educators and the available programs for financial assistance is crucial, too. Staying strong at school when your loved one is sick is no easy feat, but there are always resources out there to help strengthen you and your family. It may not seem like a great experience now, but it the long run it can really provide you with a lot of strength.