At Bear Cottage – the only children’s hospice in NSW – it was decided that if the kids and their families couldn’t leave their homes during the COVID crisis, then Bear Cottage would come to them.
Since then the registered music therapist Annabelle Keevers has pivoted, providing music therapy via Zoom, which has allowed her to connect with families on a much more personal level. “I soon became aware of the need to attune quickly when meeting with families online, acknowledging the changed circumstances in which they find themselves” she explains.
“I am essentially being invited into their living rooms, into their private space, which is quite different from running sessions in the garden or sensory room at Bear Cottage,” noting this has meant that she is able to “tailor my music to the specific situation they are in.”
Whilst working remotely, Annabelle remained in close communication with the allied health team, the Child Life Therapists and the Social workers. This allowed the allied health team and nurses to follow up with families and ensure their complex needs were met.
Since 2010, the Ottomin Foundation has proudly funded the Music Therapist position at Bear Cottage.