This Children’s Hospice Week, Together for Short Lives is encouraging supporters to think about their own #LifesShort moments: the little things that make life beautiful. Through the magic of technology, Lifelites helps create these moments every day, giving life-limited and disabled children in hospices opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.
At Lifelites, we know that children and young people and their families in hospices don’t want to waste a single second of their time together, which is why we’re so determined to help make sure that every moment counts.
These children face so many difficult challenges, with lives which can be full of medical treatments and hospital appointments. Children’s hospice provide a respite from this, and are places for fun, laughter and enjoyment, and at Lifelites, we are very proud to be a part of this.
The technology we donate for children in hospices gives them opportunities they might not have otherwise had to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate, for as long as it is possible. We hear from so many famililes and members of staff about how our technology helps to create so many moments that matter.
Recently we spoke to Clair, whose four year old daughter Scarlett was born with a genetic condition which left her with visual and hearing impairments. She also has epilepsy and limited mobility. She used the Eyegaze we donated to her local children’s hospice, and was able to paint a picture just using the movement of her eyes. Clair said: “Seeing her concentration when she was using it for the first time was such a special moment and very emotional for us. She created a lovely piece of art which I know we will treasure forever.”
Kelly’s daughter Heavenly uses Lifelites iPads at her local children’s hospice, and Kelly told us about a very special moment that wouldn’t have been possible without it: “Due to Heavenly’s disabilities, she isn’t able to go to school for much of the year, which can be very isolating for Heavenly. However, using the iPad Heavenly was able to have a starring role in her school play! We filmed her part, and then sent it to the school to include. We were even able to watch the play on the iPad. Heavenly played the part of a fairy godmother, which is funny because we feel like Lifelites has been a fairy godmother to her.”
The technology that Lifelites donates not only helps to create precious memories with families, but it also helps to record them, so that they can be enjoyed into the future. One hospice staff member told us: “Capturing moments on camera is a very important part of our work, particularly for creating memories. Parents don’t want to miss out on any part of a child’s life, especially if this life is going to be cut short.”
Our magical technology has helped make so many magical moments possible, and we are excited to see what future developments in assistive technology will bring, and the impact that it will have for children in hospices. The next thing on the horizon is Virtual Reality. After running a pilot at Naomi House & Jacksplace, we heard a wonderful story about Dan, a young man who is no long able to play video games because of a loss of movement in his hands: “Dan used to love playing on the Xbox, it was a chance for him to socialise and have fun, but his condition means he can no longer use his hands. The VR system from Lifelites has made it possible for him to play games again and has really brought him out of his shell. It’s been fantastic to see.”
If you’d like to read more about the work we do, and the technology that helps create magical moments for children in hospices, please visit our website.