In the Illinois Community

Almost Home Kids; Supporting Families of Children with Complicated Health Needs

Almost Home Kids, licensed by the Department of Public Health, is a program that offers short-term stay for community based pediatric healthcare facility that brings together Medical Professionals, Recreational Volunteers, Community Providers, Sponsors, Donors, Friends, Corporate and Civic Partners.

This year Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois partnered with Almost Home Kids to help support their Respite and Transportation Programs. These programs not only provide proper care for children with special needs, but also offer parents facing these challenging day to day tasks, an extra pair of hands to tackle the complex care many of these children require.

The concept for Almost Home Kids was developed in 1992, by two mothers who were determined to keep their children out of the hospital, but were exhausted due to the 24/7 medical needs of their children. According to Almost Home Kids, At that time, community facilities outside the hospital settings did not exist that had the proper equipment to provide care for the complex medical routines of children with chronic medical conditions. The program started in a regular home with the purpose to give that home feel to the patients.  In 1999 Almost Home Kids opened its doors officially to serve those children and their families across the State of Illinois and beyond.

Since opening, Almost Home Kids has served over 1,400 children who require 24 hours technology dependent medical needs and their families. Today AHK offers Respite Care, Transitional Care (120 day hospital to home program) and Transportation Respite Care. The goal of AHK is to have children with medical complexities living comfortably with their families at home.

For many parents with children whose medical needs are technology dependent leaving the hospital can be overwhelming not to mention terrifying. We all know not everyone has the luxury to stop going to work or suspend other day to day activities. The Respite Program at AHK assists parents by offering a short term stay for whatever happens; temporary absence of private duty nursing care at home, parent illness, vacations, family emergencies and much needed rest. The stay can be from 24 hours up to 14 days, and during the stay, each child is provided with medical/nursing care and recreational activities in a secure and therapeutic environment.

AHK also offers transitional care, which is the link between hospital and home for a child who is clinically ready for discharge from a hospital.  There are many important factors that need to be considered in order to bring the child home safely. A family may need further support through training and equipment education regarding the clinical needs of the child and nursing agency staffing plan. This way a family can focus on the most important part and that is having the peace of mind of knowing what they are doing and contacting the right group of people, and put many of the worries at ease.   

For more information about Almost Home Kids visit Almosthomekids.net/contact-us/ or email info@almosthomekids.org

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