Young patients with complex medical issues often can’t be discharged until their homes and families are prepared to provide the ongoing care they require. This can result in patients waiting in expensive intensive care units. One alternative to that situation is Almost Home Kids (AHK), a ten-year-old program that partners with healthcare organizations to provide a homelike setting that supports transitional care for children.
Cost – Efficient: The AHK officials say their facilities are one third the cost of a hospital stay.
Comfortable: The AHK environment is much more homey. Providing kids a residential style living space that includes a generously sized bathroom and an open layout that easily accommodates the movement of wheelchairs or medical equipment.
Big Enough for the Family: The living space is large enough for families to comfortably stay while they are trained to use items like ventilators or feeding tubes.
Multiple Locations with More on the Horizon: There are now three AHK locations. The first two AHK locations, both affiliated with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, in suburban Naperville, Ill., and the second in a Ronald McDonald House in Chicago’s Streeterville. The latest AHK site is a freestanding facility in Peoria, Ill. It’s affiliated with OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
- Homelike Feel w/ Warm Decor
- Playgrounds and Green Space
- Healing Gardens
- Daylight and Expansive Views
- Community Space with Collaborative Seating Configurations that encourages interaction
Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped develop modern design for healthcare organizations locally, regionally and internationally. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff
Matthew Hall, Freelance Writer. “In Transition: Almost Home Kids.” HCD Magazine, 5 Apr. 2019, www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/projects/pediatrics/in-transition-almost-home-kids/#slide-1.