Albany Community Hospice's Sarah-Louise Collins and Sonya Coleman-Sutcliffe.

Albany Community Hospice heals the spirit of patients with dedicated Good Spirit room

Main Image: Albany Community Hospice's Sarah-Louise Collins and Sonya Coleman-Sutcliffe. Credit: Laurie Benson

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A special room at Albany Community Hospice is giving patients emotional and spiritual healing that goes beyond the physical treatment norms of palliative care.

The Good Spirit Room or “Kwop Wirrin Room” is a purpose-built space designed to alleviate stress, anxiety and suffering, and is used daily in Albany.

It was the first facility of its kind in WA — called a human room by designer Efterpi Soropos — when it opened in Albany in 2016.

With a big screen showing some of the region’s best landscapes, accompanied by the natural sounds you would hear if you were immersed in them, it is a place of peace many families have become familiar with.

It also helps carers and staff as a place to recharge and replenish.

Clinical Hospice Manager Fiona Jane said that just last week, the Kwop Wirrin Room was used to provide a quiet contemplative space for a patient and her family.

“Her bed was wheeled into the space and the family were able to sit quietly together surrounding themselves with the sights and sounds of their country that could be projected in images and sounds,” she said.

“They called it their healing. We were all very moved that this could have such a meaningful and beneficial effect on the patient and her family.”

Ms Jane said the hospice team worked with artists and musicians to design the room, drawing inspiration from nature.

“Time stops temporarily,” she said.

“The Human Room integrates modern multi-media technology, particularly pictures and sounds, to allow patients to be absorbed in multi-sensory experiences that evoke fond memories, comforts and feelings beyond their physical state,” she said.