Heartfelt Homes is helping us fill a need for some families whose children come to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. On occasions when hospital accommodation is unavailable, the support Heartfelt Homes (HH) can provide is very welcome. Recently we have linked ten families to Heartfelt Homes. Our social workers report that HH has been very helpful and speedy in their response to their requests for assistance, and the families have been very grateful.
At the time of a medical crisis, new diagnosis or treatment, families need to be able to focus on their child’s needs. They need to be here for their child and sometimes find it difficult to arrange care for their other children.
The hospital provides accommodation for parents of inpatients both on the wards, in our parents hostel and in long stay units. However, we are unable to accommodate siblings or extended family. Ronald McDonald House cannot always assist as the demand on their service is high. In this situation the provision of two nights’ or more accommodation by Heartfelt Homes assists a family through the medical crisis and give them time to make alternative arrangements for the longer term. It also enables families to stay together at a very difficult time.
Another group who could benefit from the assistance of Heartfelt Homes are families of outpatients. Families who need to travel a long distance to the hospital often require accommodation before or after the appointment, or sometimes an outpatient appointment can lead to an unexpected admission and a family, often with siblings who have come along for the day, find themselves having to stay here.