General Information about the Children’s Hospice Sterntaler
The inpatient children’s hospice Sterntaler started operating in 2009. To this day, it is the only inpatient facility of its kind in the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan area. After a long phase of planning and preparation, the extension building was completed in 2015, with state of the art medical technologies and architectural design. The hospice offers room for up to twelve children, adolescents and young adults who are affected by a lifetime- reducing illness.
The former mill, situated near the idyllic Woog river, provides the opportunity for Sterntaler-children and their families to relieve stress throughout their long lasting fight against the illness. It enables families to entrust a team, which holistically takes care of any needs, with their big responsibilities, in a relaxed environment. Thus, families can gather the necessary energy and strength to overcome any future obstacles.
The assistance for families with a child who is affected by a life-shortening illness, starts with the diagnosis and continues throughout the often long-lasting course of the respective disease, including terminal care and support during the grieving process.
The Sterntaler team is composed of caring, certified, experienced and competent pediatric nurses, and caregivers. In addition to periodic team meetings, our caregivers also participate in internal and external continued training. Our team is reinforced by certified psychologists, pedagogues and volunteers who accompany families. Furthermore, we work together closely with pediatricians, children’s clinics, therapists of different specialties, support groups, as well as other social, and health service institutions and children’s hospice services. Support for the Sterntaler does not end with bidding farewell to the child. Empathetic and individual grief work is one of the core tasks of a children’s hospice.
Awards which the children’s hospice Sterntaler received for extraordinary work in children’s hospice services include the “Kinderschutzpreis RLP” (child protection award) in 2011 and the “Hans-Rosenthal-Ehrenpreis” in 2013.
According to recent estimates by the Federal Association Kinderhospiz e. V., there are currently approximately 40,000 children and teenagers in Germany who are so severely ill that they will not reach adulthood. These illnesses include metabolic disorders, genetic defects, neurological degenerative diseases, as well as cancer and heart disease.
The services of children’s hospices in Germany are mostly funded by donations. Merely a non-cost-covering day rate for the affected child is compensated for. Thus, constructional measures, accommodations, food and therapies for parents and siblings, etc. depend on the financial support from private people, companies, associations and endowments.
The Sterntaler and their team are grateful that social commitment from the center of society has enabled the establishment of the in-person children’s hospice Sterntaler such that it now represents an indispensable place of comfort and elementary support for many families. The children’s hospice Sterntaler, as well as all children’s hospices, continues to rely upon support from society, the economy and politics, to ensure that it can fulfill its crucial tasks in the future.