Hospice and Palliative Care
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At birth, a child is surrounded by love, comfort and family. Children’s Hospice believes a dying child also deserves the same. The Hospice team’s mission is to make sure that no child dies alone, afraid or in pain. Each day of their life should be filled with fun and love. No family should have to go through this experience alone, and afraid.
Nationwide Children’s Hospice was established in 1995 and has served hundreds of children, select adults and their families. Nationwide Children’s Hospice is the only hospice program in Central Ohio that is focused exclusively on meeting the special needs of the pediatric population. The program takes care of children for whom a cure is beyond reach.
Hospice care refers to a package of services, most often provided in the patient’s home. When a family learns from their health care team that their child has a life expectancy of less than 6 months, they turn to the staff of Hospice who guides them during this incredibly difficult and emotional time.
The palliative care program helps families with children living with life-threatening illnesses. Palliative care focuses on relieving pain and symptoms regardless of the impact on the disease process, coupled with psychosocial and spiritual support, assisting children to live to the fullest extent possible, enhancing their quality of life, leaving room for families to be hopeful, and promoting a clear, sensitive communication support to help families understand all the benefits and burdens of treatment options.
Hospice and end-of-life care focuses on preparing children and families for the anticipated death and managing the end stage of fatal conditions. Palliative care is not limited to children thought to be imminently dying and can be provided concurrently with some curative and life-prolonging treatments. Together, palliative and end-of-life care can best meet the needs of more children and their families earlier. Curative treatment seeks to stop or reverse a disease process.
The integrated model to providing care to children living with a terminal diagnosis or a life threatening condition will require continued financial support. This care is labor and staff intensive and the allowable insurance benefit does not come close to meeting the costs of providing this type of care. The program will continue to depend on the goodwill and generosity of the community.
The Palliative Care Program at Nationwide Children’s expands the caring and compassionate services currently provided by the hospice team, and serves families earlier on their journey. The program focuses on the quality of life of both the patient and their entire family fulfilling the Family-Centered Care model pioneered by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and now the standard of pediatric care.
The money Pleasure Guild raises goes to support crucial services for children facing terminal and life-limiting illnesses. The hospice team offers life enhancing services such as an on-call nurse 24/7, massage therapy, chaplain services, emotional counseling and grief counseling for the families for up to two years after the child’s death. But perhaps, most importantly, it allows these children to die comfortably at home, rather than in a hospital. For more information, please visit Nationwide Children’s Hospital.