Our goal is to support children and their families throughout their palliative care journey.
We see this as part of a multidisciplinary care approach that would allow the child or young person to move seamlessly between Hospital →Home→Hospice as they: progress from diagnosis to treatment and recovery; live with their condition; or, sadly, require palliative and end-of-life care.
We believe that a holistic paediatric palliative care ecosystem includes:
‘Hannah’s House’ will be a ‘home away from home’ where families and children can relax, feel safe and are supported by a team skilled in best-practice in children’s palliative care. A place where the child and family can feel nurtured and where the care of a sick child is shared.
A children’s hospice differs from an adult hospice. It supports families throughout the entire span of a child’s life from the point of diagnosis and progression of illness, to death and beyond.
‘Hannah’s House’ will be a purpose-built hospice and family support centre centrally located in Perth’s metropolitan area and available to all Western Australian children with life-limiting conditions and complex care needs.
It will offer best practice paediatric palliative care which focuses on the emotional, social and physical needs of the child throughout their journey, while also supporting the needs of parents and siblings.
Modelled on a typical home environment, Hannah’s House will be modern, vibrant and designed with the children and adolescents’ needs in mind. This would include private bedrooms, a central lounge and a communal dining room to encourage carers, children and their families to eat meals together and offer plenty of space for activities, games and teenage entertainment. Indoor and outdoor play areas will also benefit the child and their siblings and provide the opportunity to deliver a range of occupational therapies.
A special feature of Hannah’s House will be family accommodation, which will allow the whole family to stay with their child/sibling for planned rest breaks, holidays or end-of-life care. A special suite will also mean families can stay with their child for a period of mourning after their child has passed. Staying together allows families to make precious memories while allowing for the child’s clinical needs to be met.
But above all, Hannah’s House will be a place for living. A place where families caring for life-limited children can come and be supported in a holistic way. The whole family may choose to stay and take advantage of onsite facilities including dining, entertainment and more. There will be lots of fun activities for everyone including siblings. A range of complementary therapies would be offered from music, play and art to pet therapy and sensory gardens, all designed to enhance wellbeing and improve quality of life.
Hannah’s House will be a place where memories are made, and joy is experienced in a supportive and compassionate environment.
It is estimated that 1800 to 2500 children In Western Australia have a life-limiting condition.
Each year in Western Australia, on average, 174 families experience the loss of a child. While some deaths result from injury, many are due to rare and life-limiting conditions. Families caring for children with these conditions have a need for vital support during the child’s lifetime and beyond. This might include planned respite, palliative and end-of-life support, counselling and bereavement support.
Internationally, the children’s hospice movement plays a vital role in clinical caregiving to children with life-limiting conditions. There are more than 50 children’s hospices across the UK with a population of over 66.5 million or around one children’s hospice per 1.3 million people. There are only three in Australia serving a population of 25 million people and, sadly, not one in WA.
We believe WA needs a children’s hospice and family support centre that focuses on the lifetime care needs of these precious children and their families to complement the acute medical care offered by Perth Children’s Hospital.
Since Hannah’s House commenced our in-home respite program in 2014, we have supported over 130 children and young people with life-limiting conditions and complex care needs. Sadly, this has included providing in-home end-of-life support for children aged from 3 months to 10 years.
If you would like to know more about how you can help build ‘Hannah’s House’, please contact:
Business Development Manager
08 6319 2850
Tour a children’s hospice in Australia
Western Australia is not alone in needing a place like Hannah’s House. Already three similar organisations exist on the east coast of Australia, providing an extensive range of services for families of children diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. They are ‘Very Special Kids’ in Victoria, ‘Bear Cottage’ in NSW and ‘Hummingbird House’ in Queensland.
Please take a few minutes to take a look inside these life-changing, life-affirming organisations.
Very Special Kids (VSK) was Australia’s first children’s hospice, was established in 1985 Malvern, Victoria. VSK offers planned and emergency respite and end-of-life care along with a range of hospice and home-based support including counselling, advocacy, sibling support, bereavement support, networking and peer activities and trained family volunteers. VSK helps more than 900 families across Victoria.
Bear Cottage was opened in 2001 in Manly, Sydney, NSW. It offers respite and palliative care to children and young people with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Families from all over Australia can stay at Bear Cottage when the demands of constant care become too great. Bear Cottage provides a comfortable home environment with individual children’s rooms, family accommodation, recreation including a spa room, a multi-sensory room and teens’ room.
Hummingbird House opened in Brisbane in October 2016 after gaining support from the community, government and corporate sectors. It now delivers paediatric palliative care for children affected by life-limiting conditions and their families. It provides access to short break stays, family wellbeing services, creative therapies, and care at the end of life, and works to meet the needs of each individual child and their family. It is a medically supported home away from home, where kids can be kids, families can reconnect, and, memories can be created to last a lifetime.