Short breaks and day care at Demelza

Many of the families we support say that at times, they become physically and emotionally exhausted.

This is where our short breaks and day care can be of benefit to the whole family, as they enable everyone to have a much-needed rest.

“Demelza helping means switching off your alarm and having a good night’s sleep, knowing that she is ok. It means we can recharge our batteries.”

In a recent family survey, 77% said they had benefited from a meaningful break from taking care of their child and 63% felt more confident and better able to care for their child; “As a family, they help us put all the pieces of the jigsaw together.”

For a child, a short break can be an exciting opportunity to have a break in an environment where they can get one-to-one care, play and do activities. During their stay they can access a range of facilities and therapies in addition to being able to meet the core needs of a child.

Lucy and mum Sam, smiling, wearing matching pink t-shirt.

Lucy's story

Lucy and her family have been accessing services at Demelza in Sittingbourne for six years. With no family locally and Lucy’s grandma suffering from arthritis, the support from Demelza has been invaluable.

The family have come to rely on the services they access at Demelza, with Lucy's mum, Sam, sharing:  “I’m not sure where we’d be without Demelza’s respite services”.

Sam and Craig also use the respite service for Lucy when they need to visit Craig’s father who has dementia: “Demelza saved our family’s sanity, we are so grateful for the help”.

Benefits of our Short Breaks

A girl enjoys baking, with the assistance of her health care assistant.

Benefits for families

Whether it’s catching up with housework or doing the shopping, families tell us this valuable support enables them to do things they may not ordinarily have the opportunity to do. Short breaks/day care will also give you the time to focus on your other children, who might be feeling overlooked or isolated, as so much of the focus is on the child with a serious or terminal condition.
Registered nurse Sacha plays with Ralph on the swings.

Reassurance

It can be daunting leaving your child, especially for the first time, so there is plenty of time to settle them in. We have lots of experience and expertise in providing full nursing and personal care, but we still want to know how you care for your child. First and foremost, you are their parents/carers and you are also experts in their care. During the assessment and pre-assessment, we will assess your child to ensure their individual needs are considered and catered for.
A child enjoying a sensory activity.

A choice of support

Your child can either stay just during the day or overnight as well. Day care and overnight stays at our hospices offer children and young people the chance to enjoy our amazing facilities and use our therapy services. You also have the choice of a short break in the comfort of your own homes via our Care at Home Service. Sometimes you may need care at short notice or urgently and other times you will be able to plan breaks in advance. We will endeavour to meet your needs and work with you to arrange your short breaks at suitable times.

Fun activities

“Demelza gives us a space for Ralph to come and be safe and happy, we can leave the house and feel like a normal family, the boys can be normal children. I don’t have to wait until other families have gone home from the park, or assess every area for potential risks to Ralph…  It’s completely different at Demelza – it’s stress-free.”

“If I could offer any advice to other parents who might be afraid of what coming to a children’s hospice means, I’d say ‘just do it and don’t listen to pre-conceived ideas or judgements – it’s life-changing.’”

Ralph and a registered nurse playing in the outside area at Demelza Kent.

Short breaks are a great introduction to Demelza

We understand that accessing hospice services is a daunting and emotional process for parents and we find that short breaks are a great introduction into what are hospices are about the mixture of joy and expert care that you need as a family. Short breaks are often a service that is offered in partnership with our other services to provide a holistic care package for your child.

We know that day-to-day life can be hard for the families we support. Respite can give them a chance to be a mum or dad and not a carer. Our short breaks can give family that piece of time they need, while keeping their child’s safety and health at the centre.

Teenager taking part in an activity during a short break at our Eltham Hospice.

Want to enquire about short breaks or day care?

If you're an existing Demelza family you can get in touch with us to enquire about booking a short break or day care.

If you're not currently supported by Demelza, complete our referral form to see how we can help.

The outside of Demelza's Kent hospice.

Demelza Kent

Your short break will be at either Demelza Kent or Demelza South East London. Take a look at the facilities offered.
The front of Demelza's South East London hospice.

Demelza South East London

Your short break will be at either Demelza Kent or Demelza South East London. Take a look at the facilities offered.

Our services

Chloe and her family play together, with a health care assistant.

Support for the family

Demelza offers support for the family as well as the child, parents, carers, siblings and grandparents. Read about the support and groups available.

FInd out more
Personal care taking place at Kent Hospice

Symptom & medication management

Symptom management is about helping to improve the comfort and quality of life for children living with a serious or terminal condition, or who are at the end of their life.

FInd out more
A bedroom with a single bed and cold cot.

End of life care

Our nursing and family support teams are available to help you think about the choices you may wish to consider at this time.

FInd out more
Chloe and her family play together, with a health care assistant.

Support for the family

Demelza offers support for the family as well as the child, parents, carers, siblings and grandparents. Read about the support and groups available.

Personal care taking place at Kent Hospice

Symptom & medication management

Symptom management is about helping to improve the comfort and quality of life for children living with a serious or terminal condition, or who are at the end of their life.

A bedroom with a single bed and cold cot.

End of life care

Our nursing and family support teams are available to help you think about the choices you may wish to consider at this time.