Paediatric palliative care is similar to palliative care offered to adults. However, it is catered to the wellness of a child with a serious illness and how their treatment and diagnosis affect the whole family. The palliative care team supports the hospice child and the family at every step of the way as they offer treatments to control symptoms, help the family plan goals for the treatment, and select the best option available. They work with the primary care doctor of the child and provide extra support to the family throughout the course of treatment.
Paediatric palliative care practitioners understand how an entire family is affected by a child's illness, especially their parents, siblings, grandparents, and other family members that are close to them. This also includes friends, classmates, and extended family members.
A palliative care team's approach varies depending on the diagnosis of every child and their family's different priorities and needs. The staff must be flexible according to the family's and child's requirements as they change throughout the course. While some families may benefit from individual or family counselling, others would prefer referrals or therapy options.
As many parents find talking to their children about illness challenging, a palliative care team can offer resources, guidance, and appropriate connections for all involved in a child's life. Parents can also ask for help regarding decision-making from the paediatric palliative care team that aligns with their values and goals.
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