What Are The 5 Stages Of Palliative Care?

When children are diagnosed with a life-changing illness, family members and caretakers often have to make extreme changes to their lifestyles. A diagnosis can be scary, but there are many different services and programs to help families in stressful times, including pediatric palliative care.

What is Pediatric Palliative Care?

Pediatric palliative care programs work to ease the lives of those dealing with life-altering diagnoses. Looking for palliative care services immediately after a diagnosis can help with the entire journey of a child’s illness. Pediatric palliative care is designed to fit the specific physical and mental needs for children and their families after being diagnosed. 

5 Stages of Pediatric Palliative Care

Every diagnosis and situation is different, so it’s important to understand what the process of pediatric palliative care may look like when considering services.

Step 1:  Plan Creation

  • During plan creation, professionals and families will determine what type of support will be needed to address the individual needs of everyone involved. This can consist of organizing symptom and treatment management, along with creating a plan to maintain the best quality of life for the child. Not only will palliative care focus on managing treatments, plans are designed to extend a child’s life.

Step 2: Emotional & Spiritual Support

  • Throughout a child’s treatment journey, the severity of their symptoms may change. With increasing symptoms, there’s often a need for more emotional and spiritual support. Certain symptoms can lead to stress and anxiety for not only the patients, but their family members and caretakers. By providing psychiatric support, it can give patients a better mindset when undergoing treatment and ease the worries of concerned loved ones.

Step 3: Maintain Independence

  • Treatment can take away from a child’s “normal” life routine, so a main goal of palliative care is to maintain independence through activities that keep them positive and entertained. George Mark Children’s House uses engaging programs like aquatics and other kid-friendly activities to not only boost spirits and health during treatment, but also promote the extension of life.

 Step 4: Hospice & Home Care

  • Towards the end of life, professionals can work to create a comfortable living environment for children through hospice care.  Hospice care is focused on the special needs of people who are at their later stages in their prognosis with a shorter life expectancy. 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.

Step 5: Bereavement Care

  • The loss of a child can be unimaginable, and families and loved ones may need an abundance of support to work through such a difficult time. Bereavement care is designed to give families the resources they need to cope with their loss. 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.

George Mark Children’s House Palliative Care

George Mark Children’s House recognizes that every child’s diagnosis is different, so our pediatric palliative care services are personalized to support each need of the child and their loved one’s throughout their journey while respecting every family’s care choices. Our services focus on creating a peaceful environment for a child during treatment, professional treatment management, and family counseling. To learn more about our palliative care services, contact our care team today.