On Wednesday morning, a flock of motorcyclists from Hohenschambach and the surrounding area carried the torch from the Regensburg Association for the Elderly to Ingolstadt. Kinder-Lebens-Lauf is a campaign of the Federal Association of Child Welfare Service: it wants to draw attention to the topic of the work of a hospice. Post-ELISA care operates an outpatient child and youth care service. In DK Talk, General Manager Franziska Kopitzsch talks about working in a nursing home and how important it is to break taboos about it.
The Kids Life Race has been in the region since Wednesday. She will visit about 120 aged care facilities for children across the country in the next few months. What do you hope to achieve with this campaign?
Franziska Kubic: Until October 7, Kinder-Lebens-Lauf (Children’s Life Path) will run about 7,000 kilometers across the country in inpatient childcare and outpatient pediatric aged care services. The tour through Germany has one goal: the affected families want their life-threatening children to be able to live as normally as possible. You are looking for moments of happiness and meetings with people who do not look away. We prepare ourselves from the children’s life path, together – in society as a whole – to break taboos and embarrassing silences in society.
In your opinion, what is the importance of raising public awareness of the taboo topic “children and death”?
Koitzsch: In Germany, 50,000 parents are affected by the diagnosis of their child which offers no prospect of cure or recovery. The Federal Association of Children’s Hospice, which represents the interests of children’s homes and outpatient services, has become one of the most important bodies responsible for providing counseling and care for affected children and their families. In addition to promoting public awareness of the work of the children’s hospice, the campaign also aims to attract donors, supporters or interested citizens for existing and new projects in the area. Many people know that there is a fire brigade in their town or area, a youth gym and much more that you can volunteer for. But did you also know that there is a hospice association for children in your city or region?
Who can join here?
Kopitzsch: Everyone can participate in the life path of children: affected children and youth with their families and friends, aged care and palliative care staff, local supporters and donors, ambassadors and prominent sponsors. They all carry an angel-shaped torch lamp to the general public as a symbol of solidarity with the affected families.
In Bavaria there is only one child care home. It is in Allgu – about 200 kilometers from Ingolstadt. Are there very few child care homes in Bavaria, Germany?
Koitzsch: In Germany there are 17 permanent children’s homes, two partly children’s permanent homes, and a mixed form in Kassel. In Bavaria, in addition to the nursing home in Allgäu, another home is under construction in Bamberg. The question of whether there is a need for more permanent childcare in Germany, or specifically in Bavaria, can be answered only by analyzing the appropriate needs of the respective region. It should be clear from this that nursing homes in the relevant area are a necessary addition to needs-based care and support for children, adolescents, and young adults with their families who are ill for a short period.
On the other hand, there is usually an adult hostel in every city. What is the difference between this institution for adults and children?
Koitzsch: Hospice care homes for adults’ are expressly open to their guests only for the last stage of life. Hospice care work for children is a supportive service for all family members of terminally ill children, adolescents and young adults, which often extends from the time of diagnosis. Many years to death and beyond results in This situation has their own needs and labor and supply structures that are incompatible with the view that is usually aimed at the last stage of the elderly’s life.
What is the focus of the children’s hospice?
Koitzsch: In nursing homes for children, affected young people and their relatives are escorted, cared for and pleased. Everything the family needs is available. Parents and relatives decide for themselves how much they want or can donate. Hospice homes for boarding children provide support during often long illness, at death and in mourning. They provide professional care, palliative care, psychosocial and pastoral support as well as educational work with sibs. There are special farewell rooms and an opportunity to comfort the deceased child in peace. DKMiriam Werner asked the questions.