At a time when they cannot share the holiday with their families, familiar holiday activities can be so comforting to a child who is hospitalized.
Offering the annual Santa & Rein-dog event at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital is one way of providing comfort to our patients. So on a Saturday in December, the caregivers at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital helped to make the patient experience a little more merry.
Many traditional family activities were offered, providing that “feeling of home”, including watching Frosty the Snowman and other holiday videos, and visits with Santa. Creative activities – like decorating your own graham cracker gingerbread house, and creating adorable felt ornaments to take home – offered the healing benefits of art therapy.
Children were also inspired to help other children in need by creating a tied fleece blanket, which was donated to a local community children’s organization. What a great way to demonstrate kindness and gratitude to our young patients.
Volunteer pets, disguised as Santa’s Reindeer, joined the celebration. The therapy dogs regularly visit our child inpatient units, and make a difference for our patients throughout the year, so it was natural to include them in this special event. The dogs are a nurturing, fuzzy friend to many of the children hospitalized at our facility.
Other familiar guests were on hand to make the children feel special. North Pole Elves and The Gingerbread Man greeted the children and gave them extra attention, adding to the family atmosphere.
I feel lucky to work at a facility which puts the patients’ needs above all, and I thank our caregivers for providing this example of exceptional patient care.
Aurora Psychiatric Hospital offers an ideal setting for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems. Located on a beautiful, 30-acre wooded campus in Wauwatosa, Aurora Psychiatric Hospital has been a leader in behavioral health care since 1884. Find out more about Aurora Psychiatric Hospital.