Our home is filled with more than help; they’re filled with hope
Seriously ill or injured children often need to spend weeks or months in a hospital for necessary treatment. It is not only an incredibly long time to be away from home but also for a family to be divided- usually mother at the bedside with the sick child leaving father and extended relatives taking care of siblings. When a family is focused on the health of their child, well-being of other family members may be neglected – the health, living conditions and emotional status of the caretakers, the welfare of siblings, etc. The Ronald McDonald House®, prided itself as the “home away from home” for families with sick children, is mandated to help families to overcome these issues.
Families are stronger together, especially when they are facing illness. The concept of family-centered care has long been popular in the North America. According to research, with the support and love from immediate loved ones, the hospitalized child tends to feel less lonely, cope better and heal faster. While keeping life as intact and normal as possible is important for child patients, it is equally important for caretakers who care for the sick child around the clock. A network of support can help relieve the emotional stress. Keeping siblings close by can also help normalize life and maintain the psychosocial well-being for the hospitalized child.
Since March 2019, there is free shuttle service to and from the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital. Parents staying at the Ronald McDonald House can concentrate in caring for their sick children while saving time from the frequent commuting to and from hospital. Staying at the Ronald McDonald House, parents can continue with their usual domestic routines such as buying grocery, cooking meals, doing laundry and going to work and school without much interruption. Do not underestimate these routines and structures as– they are essential in restoring a sense of normalcy in life. Staying close to the medical experts, they can also better communicate with their child’s medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed.
We understand that among all the stressors, finance is one of their big worries when families are facing with enormous medical bills. To lessen their financial burden, With referral from Medical Social Workers, families in need can stay at an administration fee HK$70/night. All families at the 23-bedroom House (including one special needs room especially designed for families with bone marrow transplant child patients) can enjoy a well-equipped kitchen, library, dining room, living room, study room, outdoor and indoor play area and laundry.
The Ronald McDonald House offers invaluable support through a network of volunteers, donors, staff and families who encounter similar ordeals. Regular volunteer playgroups, English classes, Art classes, Yoga classes, festival celebrations, and birthday parties are often the highlight of our children’s day. Inkind donations such as supermarket gift vouchers, new toys, or fresh organic vegetables can put a smile on their face. Families sharing healthy recipes for the children can be so energizing. A little community has come alive and it is carefully maintained by all the committed volunteers and staff, generous donors, and families with similar experience.
Keeping families together to help kids heal and cope better