Art Therapist's Office: Hospice

Regular art therapy support for children, hospice wards, and their families at the ‘House with a Lighthouse' children’s hospice, Moscow.
The project was implemented with the support of the ArtSocial Foundation
Palliative care patients are one of the most vulnerable groups in need of psychological support.

According to the Russian Ministry of Health, 737,216 people received palliative care in 2019, while according to estimates by the Vera Foundation, 1,300,000 people needed palliative care in 2019 (the foundation’s estimate is based on the methodology of the World Health Organization).
At present, a supportive therapeutic tradition for children in hospice care and palliative centers is gradually being integrated into Russian medical practice.

In this situation, palliative patients who cannot access in-patient hospice care and who receive supportive treatment at home remain vulnerable. The relatives of patients who are forced to provide round-the-clock care and support are also in need of systemic support. Emotional burnout and physical fatigue rates are very high among these caregivers.
Therefore, we decided to create a project for in-patients and outreach art therapy support.
Over 12 months of the project, we worked in an in-patient ward (Children's Hospice ‘House with a Lighthouse' in Moscow) and on visits around Moscow and the Moscow region.

Working in the hospital, we met with children aged 4−14 (mainly 8−10 years old) and their families.
The main requests we worked with were:
  • Support for siblings in families with palliative child patients
  • Educational classes for parents, entitled: ‘How to apply creative techniques in daily household practice to solve the child’s educational and psychological tasks'
  • Art therapy sessions for children with parents
  • Art therapy sessions for large groups of 15 or more participants
  • Art therapy sessions for children separate from their parents
The ward ‘Art Therapist’s Office' operated two days a week for 6−7 art therapy sessions per week.
Over 12 months, 180 children and their families became beneficiaries of the ward office.