Every parent must recognize it: you are at the Máxima with your child, but there is still so much be done at home. Friends and family want to help, but asking for help all the time does not really feel right. De Regenboogboom developed the Handy Hands app: a tool with which you can have your own team carry out chores. In this way you create room for what is really important.
Stichting de Regenboogboom is there for children in difficult situations, so also for the children at the Máxima. ‘Actually for the whole family,’ says Evert-Jan van Zandvoort. Together with his wife Renée he is the initiator of the foundation. ‘Anyone who cares for a sick child has a lot on their mind. Sometimes so much happens at once that your family is almost crushed by all the events. Our goal is to help families stay strong and stay in control.’ Safe place
Renée van Zandvoort: ‘We want to instill a sense of security. On Saturdays we visit children and parents at the Máxima. We do this at the request of the medical pedagogical staff member, who prepares our meeting with the child and parents. We come with the Rainbow Tree, a fairytale tree with a crystal hanging in it for every child. As soon as a ray of sun shines through it, you can see the colors of the rainbow. The crystal, which the child can keep, symbolizes a beautiful dream or wish. We talk to children and encourage them to think about things that make them happy. That gives them a sense of security and strength, so that they can better cope with their situation.’Willingness to help
During the visits, the Van Zandvoorts discovered that parents are somewhat ‘overloaded.’ They feel torn between home and the hospital. At home brothers and sisters ask for attention, the laundry has yet to be ironed, and there still are some groceries on the to-do list. Friends and family are keen to help, but do not know what or how. Evert-Jan says, ‘People now often use a group app, but that doesn’t work optimally. Before you know it, you have to work your way through a myriad of apps about who does what or a chore has been done. Positive reactions
This is how the idea of ‘Handy Hands’ was born – an app that allows parents to easily create a private group with people who want to help. Buying groceries or walking the dog: you enter a chore and a group member takes it on. The app has been online for only a few weeks, but has already been downloaded over 70 times. Renée says, ‘We receive positive reactions from users. We encourage people to share their experiences with us so that we can further improve the app.’ Her husband adds, ‘As a parent, you can now indicate what is needed. So that you can turn your attention back to what’s really important.’More information
The Handy Hands app is a tool for families with a sick child. But the app can also be used in other caregiving situations. For more information about the app and the other work of Stichting de Regenboogboom, please visit www.regenboogboom.nl