Living With Hospice is launching a bonus feature for our listeners, by answering a listeners question in a special bonus episode entitled "The 7 Minute Scoop." In this 7 Minute Scoop, Mitch Ware discusses the often asked question, 'Is there Hospice for kids??' And he ends the episode with a touching story. 7 Minutes, and you have the whole scoop!
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Hello. My name is Mitch Ware, and this is the seven minute scoop. We're trying something new here. It living with hospice as a bonus for our listeners are answering some of the easier questions. The quicker answered type questions in a single short episode. And we're calling that the seven Minutes goop. This is the first of what we hope will be many of these seven minutes scoops. And with this one, we're going to address a question. We here quite often is there hospice just for kids as faras I confined there. Only a handful of dedicated pediatric hospices in the whole U. S. And most all hospice organizations do not take minor Children. They refer them back to their primary doctors or clinics for treatment. So why is that? Well, as far as I can tell, there are two main reasons why we don't see more programs dedicated to pediatric hospice care. The first is well, there just really isn't a need like there is for adults. And secondly, it is extremely expensive. So first things first. Why isn't there a need? I mean, kids are dying all over this country from terminal diseases every single day So where's hospice in all of this? Okay, you know, most people probably safe to say 99.999 Whatever percent of people want their Children to stay in curative care, why is that? Think about it. Nobody wants to stop trying to cure their Children. If there is any chance at all, no matter how remote people opt for curative care, you know we love our Children more than anything else in this world. And the thought of losing them well, best just more than we can bear. Most of us won't even let our minds go to that place. What's that old saying? We should not have to bury our Children. It's It should always be the other way around. We, as parents, will mortgage the house well, so everything we have will move any mountain to protect our kids. And I get that. So that's white. Parents really don't up for hospice even when their Children are terminally ill, and the doctors say there's really nothing else we can do. The second reason evolves around the immense cost associated with pediatric care. Most Children who are entering an end of life situation come into it with many other underlying health reasons. Many of these require expensive special equipment and usually specialized nursing care. If you recall from our episode Number two, what is hospice care? The primary philosophy of hospice care is to provide optimum comfort for each patient. Hospice provides all the necessary equipment, all the necessary medicines, all the necessary nursing. And in these cases with pediatric medicine, that means providing and maintaining the additional needed equipment, the additional medicines and the additional nursing attention That is a credible burden and an incredible expense. Check this out. Adult hospice is only 20% of the cost of adult curative care. So Mom or Dad or Grandma Grandpa who are are in the hospital, they have X amount of dollars that that's costing. When they move into hospice care, those costs are reduced by 80% on the average. But with Children, hospice care could be as much as curative care and in some cases, even more so. The two reasons that we don't see more pediatric hospice programs. Number one, the lack of patients and number two hospice organizations just cannot afford the huge additional expense of acquiring and maintaining needed equipment as well as provide special nursing. Now let's quickly look at what is available for kids. We are super blessed to have a world class Childrens hospital here in Grand Rapids. It's called the DeVos Children's Hospital. Kids and families come here from all over the world. A divorce. The entire staff is in a pallet of care mode, pretty much 100% of the time. That means they're looking for optimum comfort for every kid every day. Remember, from Episode two of Living With Hospice. That pallet of care can co exist with curative care. That is to say that the staff is much, much more engaged with kids in doing comfort care than their counterparts across the street at the regular adult hospital. The kids are not only getting the treatments they need but are also engaged in fun activities, which are scheduled all throughout the day just for kids they have outside. Entertainers come in. Even the window washer dresses up like Spiderman. Sometimes my guess is, at least in part, that that's the way most hospitals are, at least in spirit, and they really love and take super attentive care of the little ones. Let me leave you with an interesting fact. Here in Grand Rapids, a group of first responders come down to DeVos Children's Hospital twice a month on Friday nights, and they park their vehicles in a semi circle and that huge parking lot by the Children's hospital there. And then they turn on every single light they have. You know, it's red and blue and green and yellow and white, oh, flashing like crazy. And it's gotten so popular the public has joined in. People bring their flashlights and glow sticks and lanterns, and most anything that puts off light. The kids love it. They can't wait for Friday night's to roll around and the kids up inside. DeVos will make their way to the windows, most in their wheelchairs or with walkers, and they wave flashlights of their own back down to the people on the streets. Strangers taking time to share love with strangers. Justus God intended. You can check out all of our podcast episodes at www dot living with hospice dot info or wherever you get your podcasts now including YouTube, I'm told, and feel free to leave some feedback. We appreciate a good thumbs up as well as your comments. Or if you're more inclined, you can email us at livingwithhospice @gmail.com. Thanks for listening for Living with Hospice. This is Mitch Ware, and that's the seven minute scoop.