About Bear Cottage
Bear Cottage is a very special place that's dedicated to caring for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Planning began for Bear Cottage almost 20 years ago, when Dr John Yu and Dr Michael Stevens from The Children's Hospital at Westmead decided to enhance the hospital's palliative care program.
Located on Sydney's Northern Beaches, in Manly, Bear Cottage is like a home away from home - as far removed from a hospital environment as possible. Here staff do not wear uniforms, no medical procedures are carried out in the bedrooms, the children's rooms are designed to like a normal bedroom, and we even have a family pet, Beau, our adorable Labrador. That said, Bear Cottage is set up to provide excellence in paediatric medical care 24 hours a day, and our affiliation to The Children's Hospital at Westmead means we have access to some of the best medical resources in the world.
The facility was established entirely through community support, at a cost of $10 million, and was officially opened on St Patrick's Day, 17 March 2001.
Services offered at Bear Cottage
Bear Cottage provides support, respite and end of life care for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
We care for children from across Australia, regardless of where they receive their primary care, although the majority of families that access the service are from NSW. The children who visit Bear Cottage will range from newborn infants to 18 years of age; however, accommodation is also available for parents, as well as siblings, of the children staying.
When these families are told that their child's life will be cut short, their everyday existence takes on a monumental change. As they embark on such a terrible journey, there are limited options available to help them get through each day and answer the many questions that arise. Having Bear Cottage available to them for care and support enables these families to focus on the important things, such as spending quality time together and making every moment count.
Most families staying at Bear Cottage will come for respite; with the average length of stay is around one week to ten days. Families are generally able to visit Bear Cottage around 4 times a year for general respite, however, for end of life care, this can be open-ended.
Find out more about Bear Cottage