How many children and young adults can stay at Balthasar children’s and young adults’ hospice?
The children’s hospice has eight beds. There are also 8 rooms for their families so that the whole family can stay with us. The young adults’ hospice has four beds. There are additional beds for the young adults’ accompanying persons. This adds up to 40-50 people staying with us at the same time. We are currently supporting more than 300 families.
Where are the families from?
As Balthasar was the first children’s and young adults’ hospice to be opened in Germany, the families we support are from different parts of Germany. Now there are 15 more children’s hospices in Germany, which guarantees a nation-wide support.
What do the children and young adults suffer from?
All children and young adults who stay at Balthasar are terminally ill and have a shortened life expectancy. The majority have metabolic diseases or myopathy, others suffer from tumour or impairment of the brain or the nervous system. Most of the children and young adults are highly dependent on care.
How often do the families visit Balthasar and how long do they stay?
The can come to us several times a year (up to 28 days). Most families who visit us stay for 10 days. Regarding end-of-life care there is no restriction – families can stay as long as they want. And we continue to support the families after their child has died.
What makes Balthasar different from an adults’ hospice?
In contrast to an adults’ hospice, there are two special characteristics concerning Balthasar: First, the whole family can stay with us. Second, we do not only provide end-of-life care, but families can come at an earlier stage and stay for a few days or even weeks if they need support and a rest. However, there are, of course, also children and young adults who live with us and die during their stay at our house.
Is Balthasar bound to a certain denomination?
No, it is not. Our house is operated by the “Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft der Franziskanerinnen zu Olpe mbh” (Order of Franciscans). Thus, Christian faith is part of our daily routine, but we are definitely open to any other religious orientation.
Is pastoral care offered?
Whenever our guests have spiritual questions, we encourage them to get in touch with a chaplain of their respective religious orientation, or with the sisters of the local order of Franciscans. And our team is, of course, also happy to support the families in any spiritual matter.
How do the members of the Balthasar team cope with death and bereavement themselves?
Working in a hospice means experiencing difficult times with the children and their families, but also times of happiness and joy. Our employees support and encourage each other and are furthermore supported by supervision and a psychologist, if needed.
How many people work at Balthasar children’s hospice?
Our team consists of about 70 people (part-time workers included) from a range of disciplines. Most employees work as nurses, children’s nurses or pedagogues. Also, administrative employees work at Balthasar as well as people who cook for our guests and look after our buildings.
Are there any volunteers helping Balthasar children’s and young adults’ hospice?
Yes, there are. Volunteers are indispensable for us to be able to offer such a wide range of activities. At the moment we are supported by about 25 volunteers. They look after the ill children and, for instance, help to feed them or go for a walk with them, but mainly focus on the siblings.
Some volunteers are also involved in public relations, for example by helping at information desks.
If you are interested in volunteering, just contact us to see if our volunteer team currently needs reinforcement.
Does the hospice employ any doctors?
Although there are no doctors working at Balthasar children’s and young adults’ hospice, medical care by external doctors (paediatric palliative care, pain therapy) is ensured at all times. At regular intervals, parents also have the opportunity to talk to paediatricians from the paediatric clinic in Datteln concerning the pain therapy of their child.
How is the hospice financed?
In order to support Balthasar children’s and young adults’ hospice with its young and older guests, we definitely need your help. We are dependent on donations, as children’s hospices in Germany do not receive any funding from the government. The ill children are supported financially by their health insurance (they receive financial support for 28 days a year). A maximum of fifty percent of the costs that arise from caring for the children and young adults at the Balthasar Hospice are reimbursed by health insurance schemes; the Balthasar Foundation is therefore dependent on additional financial support to cover the rest of the costs.
The hospice’s work also involves supporting the whole family, but the cost of parents and healthy siblings staying at the hospice is not covered by insurance schemes and thus must be financed entirely by donations. Most of the families are not in a position to make their own contribution to the costs.
Every year over 1 million Euro in donations are needed to run Balthasar children’s and young adults’ hospice.
The Balthasar Foundation’s mission is to permanently support the invaluable work of the Balthasar Hospice. Every euro helps to ensure that we can continue to be a place to live and laugh, and to die and mourn.
How can I support the work of the Balthasar Hospice for Children and Young Adults?
As about fifty percent of the costs of caring for the children and young adults and their families have to be covered by donations, the best way to help us is to make a financial contribution to the Balthasar Foundation.
What is the difference between a donation and an endowment contribution?
Your donation goes directly towards providing short-term support for the families in Balthasar. If you wish to make a donation, please use the reference ‘Donation’ when you transfer money. An endowment contribution increases the endowment funds of the Balthasar Foundation. The interest earned from these funds provides us with a regular, long-term income. Any sum is welcome, because even small contributions help to increase the Foundation’s endowment capital and will allow us to continue helping future generations. If you wish to make a contribution to the endowment funds, please use the reference ‘Endowment’ when you transfer money. For more information, please request the Balthasar Foundation’s brochure (in German).
What does becoming a sponsor mean?
Sponsors play an important part in giving terminally ill children and young adults a home away from home in the Balthasar Hospice for Children and Young Adults. They support the Balthasar Foundation with a fixed monthly or annual amount and thereby help to permanently secure the financial basis of the work in Balthasar.
What ist the donation account?
Kinder- und Jugendhospizstiftung Balthasar
Pax Bank Köln
IBAN: DE23 3706 0193 0000 0190 11