Hospitalization is stressful for everyone – perhaps even more so when it involves a child. To help reduce the anxiety and potential trauma that can be associated with serious sickness and injury, the hospital provides specially designed programming and resources for young patients and their families.
Families often face a steep learning curve in understanding their child’s diagnosis and what lies ahead. They also face the challenge of meeting their child’s needs while balancing the practical realities of home and work. Community donations support the Family and Community Resource Centre, which provides immediate guidance with essential needs, connection to credible health and community resources, introduction to families with a similar experience and recreational toys and technology to help manage long hospital stays.
Philanthropy also supports Emily’s Backyard – a supervised, child-minding play area that engages patients and siblings in a safe and caring environment. This enables parents to devote their full attention to appointments with their child’s medical team.
Of course, the programming most appreciated by children is Therapeutic Play, which includes art therapy, music therapy and horticultural therapy. These programs help kids cope with their experiences and express themselves in ways words cannot. They also allow them to enjoy interactive and hands-on activities that build self-esteem and creativity. A therapeutic clown and pet therapy are also family favourites. These resources can provide social stimulation, distraction from difficult treatments or procedures, entertainment during lengthy hospital stays, and engaging opportunities for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.
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