Pediatric palliative care helps the child and family cope with the stresses and challenges of illness and hospitalization. This includes managing symptoms such as pain, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath or difficulty sleeping.
Because palliative care focuses on the whole person and not just the illness, emotional support is one of its core services. Pediatric palliative care specialists know how to recognize and talk about fear, worry, guilt, loss and other subjects in a developmentally appropriate way with children, adolescents and young adults.
The team also can suggest ways to help the child “be a child” despite illness – that is, to carry on the tasks of development through age-appropriate play and learning.
A sick child also increases stress on members of the family. They may face difficult decisions, and often feel very alone. Palliative care specialists can inform, guide and support families as they cope with difficult choices and sensitive situations.
In addition, the team can help ensure communication among caregivers and assist in coordinating care and finding resources for support outside of the hospital.
- Symptom management
- Child life services
- Psychosocial and spiritual care
- Family support group
- Sibling support group
- Relaxation techniques
- Bereavement resources
- Memorial services
- Hospital-to-community transition coordination and follow up
Who can refer:
- Family members
- Any heath care provider caring for the patient