As part of Hospice Care Week we’re answering some myth-busting questions around hospices and services available at Demelza Hospice Care for Children. The first in our series of myth-busting questions is…

How does children's hospice care differ to an adult's hospice?

Hospice care for adults is generally considered to be during the last years of life. But at Demelza, we care for children with serious or terminal conditions throughout their lives; supporting families to make memories and enjoy precious moments together. This care is provided in the comfort of children’s own homes or at our beautiful hospices.

Walking through the doors at Demelza you’ll see bright colours, play areas, sensory areas, computer games, and spaces for children to be care free.

Our registered nurses and health care assistants are the heartbeat of Demelza. With extensive qualifications and experience in paediatric, learning disability and adult nursing, families can feel assured that their child will be in the safest of hands. Emotional, practical and social support is also available from our expert team of therapists and family liaison practitioners.

You can read more about Demelza and watch our virtual video on our Demelza Kent page.

Is a hospice like a hospital?

Demelza doesn’t look or feel like a hospital but we do have highly experienced and skilled registered nurses and health care assistants, who look after every aspect of a child's care.

Want to see for yourself? Check out our virtual tours of all three of Demelza sites.

Do people only use a hospice for end of life?

Specialist end of life care is one of the vital services provided at Demelza; but we are also able to offer children and families so much more. During their time with us families can choose to access individual or group therapies, enjoy a splash together in our hydro pool or even watch a movie in our cinema room. And our registered nurses and health care assistants will always be on hand to ensure a child’s clinical needs are being well looked.

Some of our other services include:

- Short breaks: Overnight short breaks in the hospice, so that everyone can have a much needed rest.

- Therapies: Music therapy and art therapy is available with trained therapists

- Care at home: We visit families in the comfort of their own homes

- Practical support: We have a team of volunteers who can help with jobs around the house or even transport to appointments

Read more about the services we offer at Demelza.

Our final myth-busting question as part of Hospice Care Week, and to highlight what is available at Demelza, is…

What facilities are at Demelza’s hospices?

At Demelza we’re lucky to boast wonderful facilities alongside our expert registered nurses, health care assistants, therapists and family liaison team who are always on hand to ensure families get the most from their visit to Demelza.

Our three sites across Kent, South East London and East Sussex have a range of facilities including, sensory rooms, activity play areas, beautiful outdoor and garden spaces, music rooms and art rooms. Demelza Kent also has a large soft play area, a hydro pool, and a TIZ (The Inclusive Zone) space for teenagers and young adults to enjoy their independence.

These facilities mean every visit can be unique, bespoke, and most importantly full of memory making for everyone.

Find out more about our Demelza sites.

Family Stories

"We really benefit from the weekly music group sessions we have on Zoom, along with other families supported by Demelza. Victoria, the Senior Music Therapist, themes them each week and we learn so much. We look forward to these sessions every week and they are a fun start to our weekends.

Being able to connect with other families taking part in music therapy has been a lifeline."

Lucy playing her drums

Family Stories

"Zak went with his daddy to look around the Kent hospice and although he didn’t access much because of his prolonged hospital stays, Demelza ended up being there in our most critical time of need.

We have been fundraising in his honour for Demelza, to ensure other families like us can get the help and support they need in the most desperate times of their lives.”

Zak with his brother

Family Stories

"We were told about Demelza – and said this was a place that could give Mohammed Yahya the care he needed.

Vicky and Mel from Demelza took us to the hospice in Eltham and we were welcomed into that warm, bright, colourful place by the whole team with open arms. We cannot describe the feeling of utter relief, the weight falling away from us – for the first time since that 20-week scan."

Mohammed sleeping in blankets