When Children are the Patients
The unique needs of children with life-limiting conditions are often addressed by special teams of physicians, nurse practitioners and the rest of the clinical team.
Pediatric patients require a special type of emotional, spiritual and psychosocial support—to help them understand what’s happening and why, to feel empowered, to release feelings they should not bear alone and to hold on to joyful feelings as well as memories. Pediatric hospice services are tailored to fit the needs of each family. When possible, services are offered in the child’s home, where they are surrounded by the love and comfort of family.
Social workers and creative art therapists are often licensed to provide age-specific psychological and emotional care for pediatric patients and their families.
Music, art and other creative approaches often facilitate a safe space for children and their families to create legacy projects, work through and express their emotions, receive age appropriate grief and loss support as well as counseling to develop healthy coping skills, and lay the groundwork for bereavement. Art therapy can significantly decrease pain, anxiety and emotional distress, while improving quality of life.
There are resources for families caring for children with life-limiting illnesses:
Can my child continue pursuing curative treatment alongside hospice services?
When the patient is a child, there is no parent who ever wants to give up hope for a cure, a new treatment or a miracle. State and Federal laws now enable your child to benefit from enrolling in a robust hospice program, such as MJHS Pediatric Hospice, while continuing to pursue curative treatment for their life-limiting illness. Parents of children with advanced illnesses, alongside their practitioners and clinicians, can continue hoping and planning for the future while taking advantage of the supportive benefits of hospice.
For more information on the specific details of the legislation, see our resources section.