George Mark Children’s House Services
George Mark Children’s House Programs
We develop an individualized care plan for each child, coordinating services among the George Mark care team—pediatricians, nurses and nursing assistants, social worker, child life specialist, palliative aquatics specialist, psychologist, support staff and volunteers.
“Transitional Care at George Mark Children’s House is like going to school to learn how to take care of your child.”
Transitional care facilitates an easier move between hospital and home, helping parents and caregivers gain more confidence about caring for their child. A transitional stay results in reduced stress, fewer emergency room visits, and fewer and shorter hospital stays. Our medical staff is available 24/7 to help parents and caregivers learn the appropriate safe care of their child, at their own speed, in a warm and supportive home-like setting. This support helps parents feel more confident about caring for their child and managing issues that arise when they return home. We are an ongoing resource—just a phone call away. Transitional care can also help a child get ready for a medical procedure. Children have been referred to George Mark to achieve the necessary compliance and readiness for medical treatments.
Benefits of Transitional Care
Fewer hospital visits
“It’s great to have the ability to not let the grief take over your life.”
The death of a child is an unimaginable loss. We provide the resources and support that families need at this time, in a supportive, loving, and peaceful environment. Families and friends can gather together without restriction. We honor and respect each family’s cultural traditions and care choices. Our counseling provides assistance to the entire family throughout a child’s illness and beyond. In addition to our medical care, we provide counseling, home visits, support groups and participation in events held at George Mark for as long as a family desires, allowing every person to grieve and heal in their own way, and at their own pace.
End-of-Life Care Resources
Respect of care choices
Family counseling assistance
Programs for healing and grief
“The minute you step into this house, you become a family member and you will always be a part of the George Mark family.”
We offer parents periodic breaks from the non-stop physical and emotional responsibility of home care for a child with challenging medical needs. While at George Mark for a respite stay, children receive quality individualized medical care, delicious home-cooked meals, lots of caring and attention from staff and volunteers, while participating in developmentally appropriate activities such as games and pet therapy. A respite stay is an opportunity for parents to step away from the intense around-the-clock responsibilities of caring for an ill child, to recharge and spend much-needed time on their own or with other siblings.
Individualized medical care
Delicious home-cooked meals
Care and attention from staff
Opportunity for parents to recharge
Our bereavement care is available to all family members as they grieve the death of their child. Our care is available without time constraints or limits. Support is provided by in-person, by phone, through workshops or online support groups.
Types of support
Pediatric Palliative Aquatics
Being in the warm water helps to soothe an irritable nervous system, facilitate deep relaxation, and promote maximum movement and a feeling of well-being.
In our program, special lighting, sound, gentle touch and deep silence are incorporated into sessions to maximize a child’s experience. Benefits include better respiratory efficiency, deeper sleep, increased mobility, and an overall sense of enhanced quality of life (Adapted from Beneath the Surface: Experiences in Palliative Aquatics, by Sheila Pyatt, BSN, Pediatric Palliative Aquatics Specialist).
We provide a range of fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate activities including play, art, music, movement and drama.
Our program is designed for therapeutic and recreational purposes for patients and their siblings. We love to celebrate life and enjoy planning birthday and holiday parties with our families. We also have animal-assisted therapy-certified therapy dogs, miniature horses, and the Oakland Zoo Mobile. Special activities include our Prom, Family Picnic, Pumpkin Day and Remembrance Day.
We collaborate with our families to develop a care plan to meet their needs.
We provide supportive, ongoing counseling for individuals, couples and families as requested; link families to community services; coordinate care when returning home so necessary equipment or home care services are obtained; and help families coordinate funeral and memorial services, if needed.