H.U.G.S. Family Program
H.U.G.S. (Help, Understanding & Grief Support)
Pilgrims Hospice offers an extensive Expressive Arts Program for grieving children, teens and their families. An extension of this program will address the needs of children learning to cope with a brother/sister’s illness. As each family’s journey through a child’s illness is unique, we strive to support families in ways that will best suit them. Staff and qualified volunteers will visit families in their home regularly to help with day to day demands (non-medical) of caring for a child with a serious illness. Specific activities will be determined based on the needs of individual families, and the capacity of Pilgrims Hospice Staff and Volunteers.
When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the entire family faces a new journey full of unfamiliar experiences and a range of confusing emotions. Families must reorganize roles and responsibilities to accommodate their child’s needs. This transition is often a time of uncertainty and anxiety for all family members, especially other children in the family. Parents are often overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a child with a serious illness and may seek alternative sources of support for other children. To help meet these needs, the Pilgrims Hospice offers family-centered, psychosocial support for families of children living with a life-threatening illness. This support is available from the time of diagnosis.
One-on-one support and counseling is offered to enhance the experience for the child, the family and caregivers.
Families may request school programs for staff/students at their children’s school(s) to sensitize school personnel to issues surrounding illness and/or bereavement. Programs will be developed jointly by the family, the school, and Pilgrims’ Hospice.
We seek to:
1. Provide compassionate, family-centered, psychosocial support.
2. Help to maintain normalcy and emotional safety in the family home, and refer family for appropriate supports.
3. Offer and facilitate peer support groups and individual counseling.
Consideration is given to family structure, financial resources, cultural and religious beliefs and availability of family and community support systems. Bereavement support is also available for grieving parents and caregivers.
Programming is offered through the H.U.G.S. Program year round. Please contact the Pilgrims Hospice for information on upcoming groups and referrals.
Cheryl Salter-Roberts, CCFE CBC
780.413.9801 ext. 309