Palliative Care

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Palliative Care

Helping Kids With Life-Threatening Conditions

Nemours palliative care program focuses on relieving pain

Nemours palliative care specialists focus on the comfort and wellbeing of seriously ill children. We provide pain relief and emotional support for the kids in our care — as well as guidance and comfort for the whole family. Our team of doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and other experts share one goal: to help you and your child feel better.

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Conditions We Treat

Conditions We Treat

When children with complex, life-threatening or life-limiting conditions struggle to cope with pain and other challenges, our pediatric palliative care doctors and nurses are here to help. We provide compassionate care for: 

  • anxiety, nervousness or stress
  • constipation and diarrhea
  • dyspnea (trouble breathing, coughing)
  • fatigue
  • feeding intolerance (not being able to eat) 
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (throwing up)
  • neuropathic pain (pain caused by damage or disease to the nervous system)
  • sleep problems and insomnia (not being able to sleep)

Children may benefit from Nemours palliative care when they have conditions like: 

Services We Offer

Services We Offer

We know that every family faces challenges in different ways. That’s why we listen to you and your child, then shape our care around your needs, beliefs and ways of coping. We’re here so you and your child can live the best possible life. 

Here are some of the ways we help:

  • guidance and support as you set up care goals and make decisions, including working with medical teams to explain care options 
  • pain and symptom management to help your child cope with side effects of treatments, such as loss of appetite, fatigue and vomiting 
  • spiritual guidance from Nemours chaplains and pastoral care staff
  • emotional support to lift your child’s spirits and help them cope with anxiety, sadness and other difficult feelings 
  • integrative medicine, including aromatherapy, healing touch, massage therapy, meditation and yoga
  • art and music, and pet therapy to take your child’s mind off medical treatments, help with relaxation, and provide a way to cope with feelings
  • counseling and support groups for parents and siblings 
  • logistical support, including finding community resources and home care when your child is coming home from the hospital or moving to another facility
  • end of life care, if needed
Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us

The Nemours palliative care team are experts in many different areas. So you have access to a broad range of knowledge and skills. Our team includes:

  • pediatricians (children’s doctors) who are board-certified in hospice (end of life care) and palliative medicine (to manage symptoms and improve quality of life)
  • advanced practice nurses and other children’s nurse specialists
  • a social worker dedicated to palliative care patients and their families 
  • pain management specialists 
  • physical and occupational therapists
  • pastoral care 
  • Child Life specialists 
Pediatric Palliative Care Highlights

Our pediatric Palliative and Supportive Care Program at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware (Wilmington, Del.) was created upon the request of a family who had lost their child. Now our team is honored to provide compassionate care geared toward helping the whole body, mind and spirit of families and children coping with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.

We created our program to help enhance children’s quality of life through:

  • a collaborative, team approach to care. We build a team around your child’s specific needs. And because we know your child’s doctors well, we’re able to help you and your child make decisions and express your wishes.
  • services for the whole family. Our dedicated social worker helps families (including siblings) cope with chronic illness, find community resources, and manage home care if necessary.
  • nurturing support and guidance. Our team is here for you every step of the way, helping your family throughout your journey.
  • special doctor fellowship program to train the next generation of doctors in providing palliative care
  • participation in research to study ways of improving care for grieving parents and siblings
  • providing education throughout the Delaware Valley to increase awareness and support of pediatric palliative care

Scheduled Specialist Online Visits

Nemours now offers scheduled specialist appointments through live video chat. Ask your doctor if this is an option for your family.

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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.