The Ocean and Sky Children’s Hospice

Categories: Care and Community Engagement.

We opened a new children’s hospice “The Ocean and Sky Children’s Hospice in Yokohama” on November 21, 2021. This is the second children’s hospice in Japan. Our hospice is modeled on the community-based hospice which originated in England. Our main purpose is to let families who have a child with Life-Threatening Conditions (LTC) have a connection with the local community and prevent them from feeling isolated. We are aiming for a homey warm place like a second home where everyone including children, families, and staff members can think together about the fulfillment of the children’s lives, not merely wait for the end of their lives.

The Yokohama Children’s Hospice project has two main pillars in our activities. First, we will do our best to support children with LTC. We understand well that most of them have a wish to play and learn something new just like other children. However, people around them tend to focus on medical treatments. We value the “moment” which the children are spending. We listen to their needs and support them in order to be able to realise what they would like to do. We help children smile at their best and encourage the possibilities with which they were born.

We are passionate nurses and nursery school teachers on staff, helping make children’s wishes come true when they say “I want to do” and “I want to try” since they were often discouraged due to their medical conditions. We assist each family so that they are able to spend their days comfortably.

Secondly, we are developing human resources. We regularly have a study session with those who are working for the community in medicine, social welfare, education, and governmental sectors, by making use of the textbook “A Really Practical Handbook of Children’s Palliative Care for Doctors and Nurses Anywhere in the World”. It also helps the participants to create a network with people.

We are discussing a specific topic based on the chapter of the textbook, thinking about how to provide high-quality care. Currently, there are 20 thousand children with LTC in Japan. However, most of them have limited places to stay and are in hospitals and at home. Recently children’s hospices, where they can enjoy their precious lives with their families, have been growing in demand in Japan. Now that similar organizations in several cities around Japan are working hard to establish a new children’s hospice, we believe this trend is expected to spread more and more in Japan.

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