When your child has a life-limiting or life-ending condition, you often are faced with difficult decisions surrounding his or her care and comfort. The integrative medicine and palliative care specialists at Riley at IU Health offer treatment and transition planning to help guide you and your family through such decision-making.
Your child's team of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals want the best for your child, just as you do. They will help you weigh the pros and cons of various medical interventions to ensure the best quality of life for your child. The integrative medicine and palliative care specialists at Riley at IU Health collaborate across specialties to gather input about your child’s specific situation, and then they sit down with you to explore what works best for your family and your child.
Treatment and transition planning at Riley at IU Health includes discussing end-of-life planning and transition to hospice care.
What to Expect
What to Expect
An advance directive is one aspect of end-of-life planning. You will discuss your wishes regarding how much intervention you would want if and when your child faces an end-of-life scenario. For children who have life-limiting illnesses, medical intervention may simply prolong or cause pain at the end of life. An advance directive lets medical professionals, including paramedics called to your home, know that intense medical intervention is not wanted and allows your child a more peaceful end-of-life experience.
In Indiana, the Physicians Order Scope of Treatment (POST) form outlines exactly the type of medical intervention you desire for your child. This form is kept in your child’s chart and additional copies should be kept at home, school and other places your child spends time. The POST form protects your family from unnecessary stressful situations and allows you to make critical end-of-life decisions in advance.
End-of-life planning also includes many other aspects such as:
- Ensuring your child’s spirituality is honored. Riley at IU Health offers assistance in contacting someone from your faith or place of worship.
- Music therapy. Music therapy is available at your child’s bedside to help ease his or her transition at the end of life.
- Art therapy. Art therapy may be used to help siblings cope with the situation.
For families wishing to access hospice care for a child, Riley at IU Health offers coordination of care. Hospice care is for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, wherever a patient needs care—at home, in assisted living facilities or in the hospital. It is important to know that your child can continue receiving all treatment options when they receive hospice care. This concurrent care allows for continued symptom management while also addressing your child’s needs for comfort while facing a terminal illness.
The goal of treatment and transition planning is to provide you the information you need to make the best possible medical decisions for your child. You can expect:
- Full discussion of treatment options and symptom control to ensure you understand every aspect of all available options
- A customized response to your concerns, taking into consideration your family’s unique needs and your child’s individuality
- A sensitive approach that respects the challenges you and your child are facing
Through intentional treatment and transition planning, your child's integrative medicine and palliative care team aims to help you make the most of every day with your child.
Key Points to Remember
Key Points to Remember
- The Integrative Medicine & Palliative Care specialists at Riley at IU Health offer treatment and transition planning to help guide you and your family through difficult medical decision-making.
- Treatment and transition planning includes discussing end-of-life planning, including advance directives and transition to hospice care.
- Your child's care team will help you weigh the pros and cons of various medical interventions to ensure the best quality of life for your child.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.