Gilchrist Kids is a pediatric hospice program that provides compassionate and comprehensive end-of-life care for infants, children and young adults with life-limiting illnesses. The program also provides perinatal support for parents-to-be who have learned that their unborn child may have an incurable illness.
In March 2018, several team members and one parent whose child received pediatric hospice care through Gilchrist Kids, were invited by Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) to be interviewed on their “To Your Health” and “Greater Living” Facebook Live segments.
Check out the four-part discussion below:
“To Your Health” – Erin Bull – Gilchrist Kids nurse discusses “what is pediatric hospice” with John Lazarou.
Gilchrist Kids’ goal is to help children with life-limiting illnesses or conditions “live well” during their last months, weeks and days. And the program strives to provide loved ones with the support they need during this most difficult time. By providing relief from physical, emotional, social and spiritual suffering, we enhance the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families.
Children may continue to receive curative treatments and therapies (ventilator support, chemotherapy, etc.) while receiving hospice care.
Gilchrist Kids’ care is provided to infants, children and young adults with:
- Untreatable infectious disease or blood disorders
- Life-limiting genetic or congenital diseases or conditions
- Cardiac disease
- Respiratory insufficiency
- Progressive neurologic disease
- Life-threatening injury
- Disease affecting multiple body systems
Gilchrist Kids serves the Central Maryland communities of Baltimore City and Ann Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford and Howard Counties. Care is most often provided in the child’s home or other place of residence. We also offer respite care and acute inpatient care at Gilchrist Center Baltimore.
Your Gilchrist Kids team provides:
- Nursing care
- Pain and symptom management
- Education about disease progression
- Medications and medical supplies delivered to the home
- Hands-on personal care from hospice aides
- Emotional and social support
- Assistance in accessing benefits, navigating the health care system and decision making
- Guidance in seeking out appropriate, available community resources
- Spiritual support
- Child life care, including sibling support and memory-making activities
- Volunteer services
- Bereavement support for family and friends
- Community outreach and education about helping grieving children
Parents who receive news that their unborn child has a potentially life-threatening or life-limiting condition often are faced with difficult choices and have many questions. They may also be struggling with emotional, social and spiritual issues.
The Gilchrist Perinatal Hospice team is comprised of experienced, multidisciplinary health care providers who will “walk with” families during the remaining months of pregnancy. The team will help families celebrate the life of their baby, however long that may be. If the newborn is able to transition to home, even for a short time, the Gilchrist Kids team of professionals will help ease the transition and provide needed support for both baby and family.
Gilchrist’s Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care program offers:
- Assistance in the development of a birthing plan
- Coordination of care with the mother’s obstetrician and the baby’s pediatrician
- Professional counseling for family members by masters-prepared, licensed counselors and social workers
- Sibling support through visits with a certified child life specialist
- Assistance in memory making, including hand and foot prints and molds
- Spiritual support through chaplain visits
- Identification of remembrance rituals or celebrations that may provide comfort