Pediatric Home Care
Home Care for Your Child
Pediatrics at Home from Johns Hopkins Home Care Group offers sophisticated medical services by skilled, compassionate pediatric caregivers where a child feels most comfortable — at home. Patients and families benefit from the experience and resources of the nation’s leading teaching and research health institution, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The registered nurses, rehabilitation therapists, social workers and home health aides on the Pediatrics at Home team are highly skilled pediatric specialists who work solely with children and their families, providing assessment, treatment, education and, above all, support.
Our staff members are especially adept at communicating with children and responding to parents’ concerns. Our team works closely with a child’s primary pediatrician and specialists to coordinate a home care plan. Medications, equipment and staff visits — even direct billing of insurance companies — are all managed through a single office, so it’s easy and convenient for families.
Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide everything from basic assistance to many of the high-tech therapies found in a pediatric intensive care unit.
All of our pediatric home care products, equipment and services are conveniently available throughout Maryland, often within 24 hours of your request. Many insurance payers, including Medicaid, REM and Medicare cover services.
For more information about Pediatrics at Home call 410-288-8040 or 1-800-288-8864.
What to Expect at Home
Your child may experience behavior changes, which are normal and temporary responses to hospitalization. For example, your child may:
- Act younger (bedwetting, thumb sucking and temper tantrums).
- Show changes in sleeping, eating or toileting.
- Have new fears.
- Be more dependent.
Be patient, and stay with your child as much as possible for a while. Children who feel that they have some control over their illness and hospitalization are more likely to feel confident and be cooperative. You can:
- Ask your child to talk about the hospital.
- Have your child draw pictures about the hospital.
- Play hospital with your child.
- Make a hospital scrapbook with your child.
- Read books about hospitals and doctors with your child.
The illness of a brother or sister can be difficult for children, making them anxious, jealous or confused. Ways you can help:
- Prepare the sibling for any medical equipment in the home.
- Maintain connections between siblings.
- Bring siblings to the hospital; if visits are not possible, have them stay in touch by telephone.
- Send home pictures, art work and audiovisuals
- Prepare the sibling for changes in the ill child’s appearance.
Palliative Care at Home
In the struggle to cure a child’s potentially fatal illness, everything in a family’s life often revolves around the hospital. Indeed, family members may literally live at the hospital for months, disrupting all their normal routines. At some point, it may become likely that a cure will not happen, and families may wonder if there is any alternative to living at the hospital.
For many children with a life-limiting illness, medical care in their home is a better alternative. It often can provide an additional level of comfort and control that is difficult to obtain in the hospital. This care can focus on what counts most — relief from pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, an approach called palliative care. It can still include hospital and clinic visits, if that is what is best for the child. It can include treatment that still might cure the illness, but the palliative approach is built upon the realization that this may not work. Although simplicity of medical treatment is emphasized, children have been supported at home with almost any treatment that can be delivered in the hospital.
Skilled, caring pediatric hospice nurses make home visits, under the supervision of the patient’s regular physicians and with the assistance of a whole team of experienced personnel. These nurses and other team members have helped many other children and their families through a struggle with life-limiting illness. They work to comfort the child and family and to help them regain whatever control they can over their circumstances. They strive to help children do what they want to do, despite their illness. Most of all, they focus on helping children feel as good as they can, for as long as they can.
Hospice care is not suitable for all severely ill children, and families need to discuss this with their child’s physician. However, for many children and their families, hospice care provides a level of freedom from hospital life that they might not have known was possible.
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