Tips for Inpatient Families, by Inpatient Families!

Child in wheelchair with parent
Staying connected: telephones and computers
  • You can make an outside local call, located in:
    • SODR lounge
    • BIRT lounge
    • Family Lounge (near the SODR lounge)
    • Main floor, at the corner of the main reception desk
    • Make sure to dial 9, then the area code (e.g. 416, 289, 647, 905), then the number you are calling
  • To make a long distance call you may use the payphone, located at the main entrance, next to the parking payment machine
  • You can receive packages by courier through Holland Bloorview’s shipping department
    • Bring stamps and envelopes for any personal mail.  The mailbox is located at entrance to hospital driveway
    • If you want to mail a package by courier, fill out Purolator’s online form, process the payment and drop it off at Shipping and Receiving on Level 0, by 3:00 p.m. (Monday – Friday)
  • A computer in 3rd floor Family Lounge is available 24 hours daily, and computers in the Family Resource Centre are available Monday to Friday between 8:30AM to 5:00PM – printers are also available in both locations
    • Please note: in the Family Resource Centre, there is a small fee for printing, photocopying and faxing
  • The wifi password is: hollandbloorview
  • Bring headphones when watching or listening to TV shows or music when children are sleeping
  • Ask the child’s teacher to help with ways to keep connected to school friends and activities
  • Keep a list of small tasks or things you need help with, but do not have time to do. When friends and family ask how they can help, ask them to take care of one task on your list. For example:
    • Get you some groceries
    • Make you a meal
    • Bring you some books or magazines
    • Do a fun activity with siblings
    • Clean your house
    • Organize car pools for siblings
Communicating with staff and keeping organized
  • The screens by the nurse’s stations display the names of clients and their assigned nurses
  • Keep a notebook and pen, or cell phone close by to record questions for the healthcare team or information from doctors and therapists
  • Decide with the nurse who will give or administer any medications
  • To keep track of events and appointments - sign up for Connect2Care at the Registration office on the main floor (which will tell you when your appointments are online and also will contain the child’s medical records while they are at the hospital)
  • Your Social Worker is a good source of information and can help you problem solve
  • Check the activity screen outside of the 3rd floor elevator for inpatient family events & activities
  • The Transition Passport provided to you by your care team is helpful for keeping your documents organized, and referring to tipsheets like this one!
Things to do inside of the hospital
  • Inpatient Parent Talk: each week on Wednesday morning, a Family Support Specialist and a Family Mentor will invite parents and family members who are caregivers on the third floor to talk about a resource topic that may be helpful for your family. Please join us to have a coffee and to meet other parents and families! At Inpatient Parent Talk, you can:
    • Meet other inpatient parents and share tips

    • Learn about information related to services, advocacy, financial assistance, education, or recreation

    • Do something relaxing like go to the art studio or visit the Snoezelen room

    • Talk to a Family Mentor who has been through the medical system and has experience with Holland Bloorview services

    • Get a coffee or tea, and it’s on us!

  • Swimming: Parents can swim for free (without their child). More information is at the Pool Office on level 0, or call extension 3063
  • The Grocery Foundation Family Resource Centre: Visit us on the first floor, where you can find information and resources that are helpful for you and your family.
    • Borrow books on parenting children with illness or disability

    • Borrow children’s books that have a character with a disability

    • Research information on medications and medical conditions

    • Speak with library staff to register for a library card

    • Get tip sheets or brochures for services, supports and programs – e.g. funding forms, camps, community programs, or navigating the school system

    • Consult a Family Support Specialist for more specific resources

  • Sunshine Foundation’s Massage for Caregivers: Every second Tuesday evening, parents can get a free massage on the 3rd floor! Please note: no children are allowed
  • Mindfulness Group for Caregivers: On Mondays at 10AM, parents can stretch out and learn mindfulness techniques for relaxation in the Reflection Room
  • ScreenPlay 2.0: Visit the interactive electronic technology on the 2nd floor (near the aquarium)
    • Roll or step on the carpeted sensors on the floor to change the pictures on the screen
  • Keep active:
    • There is a 2 km walking route through the hospital. Ask a Family Support Specialist (in the Family Resource Centre) for this route
    • Please note: this route involves stairs. If you are using stairs at night for exercise, you may have to exit the building since doors are locked at 9pm each night
    • On a nice day, take a stroll in Spiral Garden or have a picnic under the covered pavilion
Things to do outside of the hospital
  • Reception: General information about the hospital and places to visit outside of the hospital is available through the Neighbourhood Guide at reception (at the main entrance), and you can also call at ext. 3400
    • Taxi listings are available at the main reception desk, or you can download either Uber or Lyft apps to get around the city
  • Terraces:
    • SODR (Specialized Orthopedic & Developmental Rehab) terrace is open for use
    • BIRT (Brain Injury Rehab) terrace is not accessible at this time
  • Automated Banking Machine (ATM): This is located in the cafeteria and has 24 hour access if you need it for a grocery run or shopping
  • Keep active:
    • Take a stroll in the neighbourhood just outside the parking lot gates
    • Don River Hiking Trails: Explore the hiking trails of the Don River (please note that these vary in difficulty and accessibility):
      • Sunnybrook Park
      • Serena Gundy Estates
      • Edwards Gardens
    • Take a walk to the CNIB Gardens, located down the street at CNIB
  • Neighbourhood Guide: a guide on some nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and activities in the area can be found at Main Reception or the Family Resource Centre
  • Free shuttle service: a shuttle bus may be available to you on Tuesdays from 1:30PM to 2:30PM. You may request a spot on the bus at Main Reception and the shuttle can go to:
    • A SMART Centre plaza that has a Sobey’s, Winners, Best Buy, Home Depot, and restaurants like Sunset Grill, Starbucks, and Golden Griddle (across the street)
    • Sunnybrook Plaza at Bayview &  Eglinton, that has a Rexall, CIBC, hair salon, and Metro (across the street)
    • This shuttle service offers a nice break even if you do not need to do any shopping
    • Sign up for the shuttle at main reception on first floor
    • Bring an umbrella or a raincoat since these are outdoor plazas
  • During your stay, nurses can arrange a shuttle for you that goes to and from other clinical appointments (outside of Holland Bloorview). This helps you avoid the parking fees at other hospitals
Food and Meals
  • Coffee and tea are available in the unit dining lounges. These are stored in the cupboard over the counter
  • Hot Meal Vouchers are available at the front reception desk:
    • $5 for breakfast
    • $10 for lunch
    • $10 for dinner
    • Hot meals are delivered to the unit dining room at the regular meal service times
  • The Garden Grill Café is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 AM to 1:30PM
    • Please note that the Garden Grill Café is closed on weekends
  • Tim Hortons is open:
    Monday to Thursday: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
    Friday: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Closed holidays, long weekends and summer weekends from mid June to mid Sept.
  • Vending machines are located on:
    • Level 1 near the main elevators
    • Level 3 near the main elevators
  • Tips:
    • Bring a dishcloth and dishtowel for cleaning your own dishes
    • Keep a roll of aluminum foil to line the toaster oven tray – this saves you the time to have to scrub it clean for the next use
Storage and Security
  • The small cabinet by the bed can be locked for any valuables
  • There are lockers on first floor by the parking payment machine to store coats and boots (cost is $1, which is returned when the key is returned)
  • Each family is given a small bin for use in the lounge refrigerator.  Use plastic food bags to save space
  • If you are staying in Holland Bloorview accomodations on the 5th floor, you will also be given a bin to use in the accomodations refridgerator. Each bin is numbered and assigned to a room on the 5th floor
Staying overnight
  • Accommodations: Rooms are available on 5th floor for overnight stays for 1 to 5 people
    • The cost is $45 to $85 plus tax per night
    • Please call extension 3340 for more information
  • Tips:
    • An air mattress, a yoga mat, a piece of foam, or extra blankets from home will make the armchair bed in your child’s room more comfortable for your sleep
    • Canadian Tire carries air mattresses and yoga mats
    • Bring a flashlight or download a flashlight app on your cell phone to use when lights are out in your child’s room
    • Showers are available for parent use in the pool change rooms (on level 0) or in the family lounge on the 3rd floor, near the SODR dining room
    • Flip-flops will keep you safe on the wet floor in the shower
Specialized Resources
  • Talk to a Social Worker, Clinician, or Family Support Specialist if:
    • You are experiencing financial difficulties
    • You may need government funding and/or other charitable funding
    • You need legal assistance (for qualifying clients and families)
Going Home for Weekends or Taking a Weekend Pass

If your child needs medication at home, check your bag for the full order and all necessary equipment and supplies before you leave the nursing station.

Last updated Feb 2019 by a Family Support Specialist and a Family Mentor
You can find more information like this in the Grocery Foundation Family Resource Centre
resourcecentre@hollandbloorview.ca