Our servicesAccompaniment

The Lighthouse provides different types of accompaniment services, depending on the child’s illness and family’s needs. The services are available to all children and families who are admitted to the Lighthouse, whether they choose to stay at Maison André-Gratton or not.

The Lighthouse provides different types of accompaniment services, depending on the child’s illness and family’s needs. The services are available to all children and families who are admitted to the Lighthouse, whether they choose to stay at Maison André-Gratton or not.

Consult a social worker, special educator and if necessary, a psychologist

The Lighthouse’s interdisciplinary team includes a special educator and social worker, but if necessary, a psychologist is also available. These specialists support parents in the following situations:

  • Feelings of pain and fear;
  • A child’s death;
  • Taking decisions;
  • Mourning;
  • Difficult situations or family crises;
  • Anxiety when a child’s condition becomes unstable at the end of his/her life;
  • Preventive care.


Mourning

The social worker provides consultation services to grieving families, who may also choose to hold commemorative ceremonies. If a family would like to find a professional closer to home, the social worker contacts local health and social services, and community organizations.

Support workshops on taking difficult decisions

When families are faced with difficult decisions, these two-day workshops help them consider a whole array of factors, such as their close circle’s influence, professional opinions, ethics, legal considerations, social values and the impact of time on the decision they must take. Parents may attend these workshops at any time before meeting the physician to discuss their child’s healthcare plan and be more prepared to face complex and difficult decisions that will inevitably come up.

The lighthouse, children and families annual meeting

Parents are invited to the Lighthouse, Children and Families annual meeting. This one-day conference, for which a different theme is chosen every year, is an opportunity for them to meet other parents with a terminally ill child and discuss their everyday reality.

Group meetings for siblings

These group meetings were developed for siblings who want to share their experience with other children whose brother or sister is in the care of the Lighthouse.

These activities are an opportunity for siblings to express difficult feelings and issues related to their brother or sister’s fatal illness.

Role-play, discussions, physical activity, music, arts and crafts help siblings break away from their isolation. The group gives them mutual support and the chance to share their painful experiences.

More specifically, the group encourages them to speak openly about illness and death, family relationships, each family member’s role, how they feel about having a sick brother or sister and communicating their needs.

Participants learn how to develop coping mechanisms.

The group is set to meet three times for two hours, and a fourth time for an excursion outside of Montreal where parents are also invited.

Holiday celebration

All families are invited to the Lighthouse, Children and Families’ annual holiday celebration.

Commemorative ceremony

An annual commemorative ceremony was inaugurated in June 2012 to remember the children of the Lighthouse who are buried in Laval Cemetery. During this non-religious ceremony, caregivers and families celebrate the children’s short-lived existence with different symbols – a flight of butterflies, flower or candle. The ceremony was made possible thanks to the generosity of Magnus Poirier, who has been extremely supportive throughout the years of families facing the death of their child. As of Fall 2013, all families grieving a child will be invited to the Lighthouse’s commemorative ceremony.

Additional accompaniment services with the help of external partners

With the help of generous partners, the Lighthouse now offers additional accompaniment services.

Respite care from Aide mondiale aux enfants

Because respite is so important to families with a terminally child, the Lighthouse is proud to announce that Aide mondiale aux enfants now invites parents to stay with them free-of-charge in Nicolet, where they can rest physically and mentally while their child stays at Maison André-Gratton.

This partnership also gave the Lighthouse the opportunity to invite the sibling’s group in Nicolet for a one-week holiday.

Free burial expenses – Magnus Poirier

Given that parents who care for a terminally ill child at home are faced with considerable financial obligations, the Lighthouse signed a partnership agreement with Magnus Poirier to offer them burial services free-of-charge.

Concert tickets

Different organizations donate free tickets to concerts and special events for the children and families of the Lighthouse.