Pediatric Palliative Aquatics Program:
- The Pediatric Palliative Aquatics Program is a gentle therapeutic program designed to meet the needs of children with a life-limiting diagnosis. The purpose of the program is to soothe an irritable nervous system, facilitate deep relaxation, and promote maximal movement and a feeling of well-being. Modalities such as special lighting, sound, gentle touch and deep silence are incorporated individually into sessions in order to maximize the child’s experience. The palliative aquatics practitioner provides sensitive support and gentle touch that enhances the alignment of the spine. Benefits from the session 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 Program:
- The Child Life Program at George Mark Children’s House provides children and families with a variety of modalities for both expressing emotion while engaging in every-day activities, and for promoting healthy coping skills. Modalities include: play, art, music, movement, drama, legacy building, and socialization.
- George Mark Children’s House assists families in planning special events such as holidays and birthdays.
- Comprehensive child life services are an integral part of our care, and are designed to meet the psycho-social needs of patients, siblings, and their families. These services include individual and group assessment, home visits when possible, ongoing emotional support to all family members, legacy building at the end of life, special event planning, and family support in end of life discussions with patients/siblings.
- Our Child Life Specialist collaborates closely with the Psycho-Social team to meet the developmental needs of our patients, siblings and families.
- The bereavement program at George Mark Children’s House offers children, teens, and families ongoing emotional support after the death of a loved one. We recognize that grief is not linear and is an individual process for each bereaved person. We provide creative and comprehensive support that honors the developmental, cultural, and spiritual needs of our families for as long as needed. We provide ongoing care because we recognize the journey does not end even when the child and family leave George Mark.
- Our bereavement coordinator also supports staff and educates the community regarding bereavement support, self-care, and emotional healing.
- The bereavement coordinator develops and facilitates grief support, both on and off-site, for individuals and groups. Events include:
- Bereavement support group
- Artfelt Moments and Tiles & Tales Day
- Annual Day of Remembrance
- Patient memorial services
- Family bereavement events
Psycho-Social Support Program:
- The psycho-social support team includes a Psychologist and Social Workers who collaborate closely with our Child Life Specialist and Bereavement Coordinator to create a comprehensive care plan for every child and family to address their unique needs.
- Every care plan is created by collaborating with the family to create a program relevant to their individual situation.
- As with our Bereavement Services, George Mark Children’s House supports the psycho-social needs of families without time limitations. Even after a family returns home from George Mark, we continue to advocate for the family’s needs and support each family through their journey.
- George Mark’s comprehensive psycho-social care includes:
- Providing supportive, ongoing counseling for individuals, couples and families as requested
- Providing ongoing assessments to shape care according to each family’s diverse psychological needs
- Linking families to community services
- Assisting with Child Life activities to promote appropriate expression and healthy adjustment for children, siblings and families
- Coordinating care when returning home so necessary equipment or home care services are obtained
- Helping families coordinate funeral and memorial services, if needed