What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care is the combined efforts of the child’s parents and family, physicians, nurses, chaplains, hospice, and other resources that provide compassionate and dignified care during the life of the child (whether it be years, months, weeks, days, hours, or even minutes). Palliative Care is also called “comfort care” because the focus is not on treatments that cure or prolong life, but on family-centered care that promote quality of life.
At the Children’s Hospital, the palliative care program is call Helping Understand Guidance and Support (HUGS). The HUGS team works to provide emotional support to the family before, during, after the birth, and death of the child.
HUGS team will can provide the following resources for families:
- Emotional support at diagnosis, during the child’s illness
- Provide assistance creating a plan of care or birth plan for caregivers and a “voice” for the family
- Provide resources for spiritual and/or religious support
- Provide connections with other parents who have been through similar experiences
- Provide information and referrals as needed for therapists, pastoral care, hospice, and funeral directors
- Provide literature, online resources, and books pertaining to palliative care, creating memories with your baby, and planning your goodbye
- Assistance with arranging in home hospice care or at a hospice facility
- Support group meetings