For children who have seriously chronic or critical conditions, lengthy stays in the hospital are a matter of life. It is difficult for the children and hard on the families, emotionally and financially. Some kids need a level of health care that their families just don't have the resources to provide.
Exceptional Care for Children is a residential, long-term skilled nursing home for little ones who need extra help to function day to day. Located in Newark, Delaware, a state with only three counties, this is a facility for pediatric long-term care that provides for these kids in a home-like setting. Their pediatric patients are technology dependent; they require devices to make up the lack of the physical ability to function without that technology, often with respiratory and mobility deficits.
Therapy for the whole child
Every kid starts the day with a bath and getting fully dressed, ready to learn and laugh. They have schedules, but "other than that, whatever they want is whatever the staff does."
All the children at EEC receive the same level of dedicated care regardless of their prognosis. Whatever the degree of disability, the staff at EEC works with each child with appropriate therapies to improve their life skills and their quality of life.
Physical and occupational therapy are integrated with play therapy to promote development where it is possible. Some children come to EEC as infants, barely able to breathe, and leave to live at home with their parents. Others are too fragile to be without 24 hour monitoring and care. When a cure is not possible, palliative care is provided with the greatest compassion.
They participate in life
Fun is a main theme at EEC and just because these children are challenged doesn't mean they stay inside and watch videos. They play in the grass, they play in the snow, they play in the water. They know the feel of the wind on their skin. Field trips are a way of life there. They go to farms and theme parks, ice cream stands and petting zoos. The staff reads to them and play music for them.
Most of all, they are loved
One nurse described EEC as so much more than a hospital; "We have time to spend with the kids, to get to know the kids. They live here. We become part of their families. They become part of ours."
If you are interested in working with special needs children, contact us to find a place to do that. And if interested in learning more about similar stories, visit the Behavioral Health & Healthcare sections of our blog.
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