When a child is seriously ill and is going to die, the whole family experiences the time of illness and farewell intensively and very close. Caring for children, often over years, requires endless strength.
The Bärenherz Foundation, located in Wiesbaden, makes it its mission to be there for people who have to experience this borderline situation. In the two children's hospices sponsored by the foundation in Wiesbaden and Markkleeberg near Leipzig, families are being accompanied from the diagnosis to the death of the child and beyond. Here the ill children find qualified care and loving support and the parents and all family members around the child find advice, relief and comfort.
This requires many hands: the carers, the housekeeping, the educational team, the pastoral care, the accompaniment of sibling children, the therapists and doctors to the outpatient service, the aftercare, as well as volunteers and many more. At Bärenherz, offers such as music therapy and animal-assisted therapy are also included. They all help to ensure that the accompanied children and their families can experience security, support and empowerment.
"Families with critically ill children are often in an exceptional situation for years. To have fear about the own child, to make everything possible for its treatment and to take care of it day and night, is an incredible burden. To be there for these families, to support them, to share joy and pain with them and to accompany them in their difficult hours, that is important to me, together with all full-time and honorary employees." says Lena Schmitt, director of the children's hospice Bärenherz Wiesbaden.
Your hand, my hand, you touch me, I touch you. Even when we are separated, we are forever one.
The independent Bärenherz foundation of private law pays around 2.6 million annually for the two children's hospices and for the children's home Nesthäkchen in Heidenrod im Taunus, a permanent care facility for seriously ill and disabled children and adolescents. The vast majority of the money is donations, without the continuous financing of the houses would not be possible. Children's hospices are not publicly funded.