How We Help Children

It can be overwhelming and isolating to have a child with complex medical conditions. We partner with families to bring an element of normalcy and joy into their lives. In addition to our around-the-clock skilled pediatric nursing, we offer everyday activities including play, art, music, movement and hydrotherapy.

George Mark Children’s House Services

Transitional Care

Kitchen

For children who are no longer benefitting from an acute care hospital yet are not able to be cared for at home

End-of-Life Care

Kitchen

A patient’s family can stay in its own family suite and surround their child with love and support

Respite Care

High quality medical care and appropriate activities while offering parents and families a short break from the nonstop care at home

Bereavement Care

Ongoing support of families following the death of their child

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.

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.

Child Life

We provide a range of fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate activities including play, art, music, movement and drama.

Psychosocial Support

We collaborate with our families to develop a care plan to meet their needs.

Child Life

We provide a range of fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate activities including play, art, music, movement and drama.

Transitional Care

Transitional Care at George Mark Children’s House is like going to school to learn how to take care of your child.

Rick
Parent

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

Reduce Stress
Fewer hospital visits
24/7 support
Home-like setting

End-of-Life Care

It’s great to have the ability to not let the grief take over your life.”

Forest Parent

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

Peaceful environment
Respect of care choices
Family counseling assistance
Programs for healing and grief

Respite Care

“The minute you step into this house, you become a family member and you will always be a part of the George Mark family.”

Rhonda
Parent

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.

End-of-Life Care Resources

Individualized medical care
Delicious home-cooked meals
Care and attention from staff
Opportunity for parents to recharge

Bereavement Care

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

In-person
Phone
Workshops
Online

Our Programs

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).

Child Life

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.

Psychosocial Support

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.