Modern medicine, despite all its achievements and efforts, is not always able to save life of a gravely sick child. Such a situation, if it occurs, is extremely difficult and demanding for both the child and his family. Having been discharged from hospital, they return home - and they have to live with the awareness of how limited the earthly time of their child is.
Children's hospices all over the world started to come into being as a response to the needs of these families. The aim of children's hospices is quite simple - to offer sick children and their families friendship, love and practical help and support.
Unlike the hospices for the adults, where people usually spend the very last days of their lives, children's hospices do focus mainly on offering the respite care. This means that the sick children and their families come for short term stays (often repeatedly) during which also the caring members of the family can recharge their own batteries and have a rest from demanding everyday caring work.
Some children may, of course, also die in the hospice - this happens if the family, for whatever reason, doesn't wish to spend the last days of their child's life either in hospital or at home.
The atmosphere of children's hospices is, however, far from being silent or sad - the hospice is, first of all, a place that attempts to bring joy and peace back to the life of the child and his family.