Ronald McDonald House Charities was started in 1985 and creates, finds and supports programs across Australia that help seriously ill children and their families.
RMHC is a global charity, which began in the US in 1974. To date, RMHC worldwide has awarded more than US $400 million in grants to children’s programs. RMHC has a network of 181 local charities serving in 52 countries and there are currently 281 Ronald McDonald Houses in 31 countries, 126 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in 13 countries and 32 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles in five countries throughout the world. The cornerstone program of RMHC is the Ronald McDonald House program. There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in Australia providing affordable accommodation for families with sick children being treated at major women’s and children’s hospitals in each state. The Houses are a home away from home and give families the opportunity to stay together to support their sick child. The first Ronald McDonald House was opened at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Camperdown Sydney in 1981. Since this time Australia’s 12 Ronald McDonald Houses have provided more than 110,000 families with over 1,000,000 nights of accommodation. In addition to the Ronald McDonald Houses, RMHC is committed to other programs which support seriously ill children and their families,
Ronald McDonald House is a low cost home-away-from-home for the families of seriously ill children being treated at nearby hospitals. Rather than spend the night in a hospital waiting room, family members can stay in comfort at a Ronald McDonald House and receive support from staff, volunteers or other families who are sharing similar experiences. Houses contain private family rooms with en-suites and common kitchens, lounges, quiet rooms and play areas. As many as 294 families will be sleeping at a Ronald McDonald House tonight and this year our Houses will provide home away from home for over 6,500 families.
The Ronald McDonald Learning Program provides specialist education to children who are recovering from serious illness. It helps children catch up on their basic education skills’ following lengthy hospital stays. Hundreds of children benefit from this program each year
Ronald McDonald Family Retreats provide families of seriously ill children free holiday accommodation. Our five Family Retreats accommodate over 450 families every year.
What I would like to focus on today is the Ronald McDonald Family Room program. A Family Room replicates the home-like environment of a Ronald McDonald House within a hospital ward, providing parents with a much-needed break from the hospital environment. There are benefits to both the sick child and the health system for the presence of a parent or carer during the child’s stay in hospital.
The experience and feelings of parents attending to their child whilst in hospital was investigated by Children’s Hospital Australasia in a survey they conducted in April 2005 which included the 16 member hospitals. The results from 2 questions in this survey are worth noting: Question 5: What are the three biggest problems you have experienced when trying to meet your child’s healthcare needs? One of the 3 highest responses to this question at 17% was being away from home / no family friends to assist / lack of home support / stress / no time for other siblings.
Question 7: What services, supports or assistance would you like to see available (that aren’t) to make life a little easier for you, your family and your child? The highest response to this question at 28% was food supplied / shopping service; free and available parking; travel reimbursement; accommodation for family; telephone and office access – for parents / carers. The next responses at 13% each were better access to equipment / mobility devices and home assistance with personal care and medical needs of the child. RMHC is keen to work with hospitals in an attempt to alleviate some of these problems and support families by establishing Ronald McDonald Family Rooms.
Levels of parental anxiety, depression and stress were high among 2/3 of parents shortly after their child’s admission to the hospital and remained high in 38% of parents three months later. The continuous presence of a parent (for at least the first four days of a child being in hospital) has been recognised as one of the most important factors in preventing damaging emotional stress from hospitalisation, especially in young children (Bowlby, 1953, 1973; Robertson, 1958, Robertson & Robertson, 1989). Parental presence can promote continuity in a child’s life, and minimise the trauma caused by hospital admission. The presence of a parent is extremely reassuring for a child, and can provide an element of normality (Blair, 1995).
A study by Monica Enand in 2004 revealed that one of the advantages of a Ronald McDonald House and the subsequent presence of a parent or carer can decrease the length of stay of the child by providing the emotional support to assist in the recovery phase and providing support post discharge. This reduction in the patient’s LOS has significant benefits for the hospital by reducing costs for the admission and freeing an inpatient bed for another child. Enand also discovered that when the parent is nearby and rested, there is less fear for both the parent and the child, potentially making the child’s care more manageable for the nursing staff. Enand also discovered that when the parent is nearby and rested, there is less fear for both the parent and the child, potentially making the child’s care more manageable for the nursing staff. A survey that was conducted by the Association for the Welfare of Child Health in 2005, investigated the psychosocial care of children and their families in hospital. There were 197 hospitals across Australia that participated in this survey. At the time of the survey it is estimated that there are 465 Australian hospitals caring for paediatric patients. Almost every hospital can accommodate at least one parent in the same room as their child (98.4%), with the majority offering a fixed or folding bed beside the child’s bed (92.8). Other options include a chair or recliner chair next to the child, or accommodation in the nurses’ quarters or parent accommodation (flat) near the hospital. However 29.5% of city hospitals and 19.4% of country hospitals did not have the capacity to accommodate ALL the parents that asked to stay with or near their child. 34.4% of these hospitals have access to facilities to wash or dry personal laundry.
RMHC is keen to work with hospitals in an attempt to alleviate some of these problems and support families by establishing Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. Australia currently has three licensed Ronald McDonald Family Rooms; At Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, The John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and The Canberra Hospital, ACT The Wodonga Hospital, VIC Monash Medical Centre, VIC Peel Health Campus WA
Barbara Ryan - Ronald McDonald House - More than just bricks
Ronald McDonald House Charities –More than just bricksBarbara Ryan | 23 October 2012
M SSI ON I Ronald McDonald House Charities®creates, finds and supports programs across Australia that help seriously ill children and their families
RG PO A S RM OURRonald McDonald House Charities | October 2012
Ronald McDonald HousesRonald McDonaldLearning ProgramRonald McDonaldCare MobileRonald McDonaldFamily RoomsRonaldMcDonaldFamilyRetreats New / planned Programs Legal Entities
RMHC AwarenessHighest awareness of any children’s charity nationally Unprompted or, Prompted
N G LEAR I N RNL O A D M D N LD C O A P OGR M R AMissed education is the biggest hurdle forchildren to overcome following an illness.• The leading Australian program providing; – Comprehensive assessment – Therapy – Individual tuition• Over 800 children with serious illness supported each week by employed staff and contracted teachers
R ALD M ON ON CD ALD CAR M ILE E OBRMHC Australia | March 2012
R N LD M D O A C ONALD FAM LY I R TR E P OGR M EAT R A
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide comfortable home-like rooms within hospitals for families to relax in while attending to their sick children. They often contain kitchens, laundries, bathrooms, lounges and quiet nap rooms.Ronald McDonald Family Room | 23 October 2012 | 10
What are the three biggest problems you have experienced when trying to meet your child’s healthcare needs? 9% 11% 7% 9% 17% 9% 17% 17% 4%Being away from home / no family friends to assist / lack of homesupport / stress / no time for other siblingsRonald McDonald Family Room | 23 October 2012 | 12
What services, supports or assistance would you like to see available (that aren’t) to make life a little easier for you, your family and your child? 5% 5% 5% 8% 5% 28% 8% 13% 13% 10% Food supplied / shopping service; free and available parking; travel reimbursement; accommodation for family; telephone and office access – for parents / carersRonald McDonald Family Room | 23 October 2012 | 13
Ronald McDonald Family Room | 23 October 2012 | 14
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O A RN M D N LD LD C O AFAM LY R I OOM GR W H O T