The New Diagnosis / Extended Stay (ND/ES) CARE Packages are designed to assist families during the hectic transition to a patient’s hospitalization. The CARE Package includes items that both the patient and caregivers will use immediately after their first admission or when emergency situations requiring hospitalization. The CARE package provides items that help make a hospital stay more comfortable and minimize the time spent away from the patient. The ND/ES CARE Package Program is currently offered only to qualified patients admitted into Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s CBDI.
The content of the Packages was determined in consultation with CBDI staff and the families of current and former patients, based on their experiences with post-diagnosis and extended hospital stays. In most cases, the ND/ES CARE Package serves as a family’s initial contact with The Dragonfly Foundation.
How it works:
When a young patient is admitted into Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Cancer & Blood Diseases Institute immediately following diagnosis or for an emergency stay that is expected to last longer than 48 hours, a hospital social worker will present the family with a ND/ES CARE Package from The Dragonfly Foundation and give a brief overview of The Dragonfly Foundation. All items – which are unscented, new and in their original packaging – have been approved by the Hospital. Families may keep the ND/ES CARE Package with no obligation to register or support TDF. These CARE Packages allow parents/caregivers to manage basic personal needs for themselves and the patient without having to leave the patient’s bedside or the hospital. This, in turn, relieves unnecessary stress on the patient and the family.
When a child goes to camp or to college, or a family goes on a cruise, families get a list of things to bring that can help make their stay more comfortable. They have time to contemplate and pack what they want to bring with them for their time away from home. No one plans to get a potentially terminal disease or can foresee emergency situations that require hospitalization.
Following diagnosis, cancer and blood disease patients are often whisked away and immediately admitted for extended hospital stays. Caregivers, stunned by the life-altering news, can be overwhelmed by the emotional, psychological, physical, financial and logistical implications. Emergency hospitalizations, which happen during treatment, are also times of great stress for both the patient and caregiver. In these situations, parents/caregivers often leave home without basic necessities.
While they try, hospitals generally do not have the staff, storage space or financial wherewithal to fully support the quality-of-life needs of patients and caregivers. This leaves parents/caregivers with an uncomfortable choice: forgo basic needs or activities (such as brushing teeth), or leave the young patient’s bedside to gather the necessary items, whether from home or a distant hospital gift shop.
TDF’s ND/ES CARE Package provides information and specific personal care items, stationary supplies and gift cards to make it easier for parents/caregivers to remain physically and emotionally present as they care for the patient in a way that promotes healing. The Dragonfly Foundation’s ND/ES CARE Package Program fits well into first component of our mission: “to provide comfort.”