SickKids hospital room helps families recharge

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Through a collaboration with Montgomery Sisam Architects, Ronald McDonald House Toronto (RMH Toronto) has added an innovative 1,725-square-foot “Family Room” to the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The room is designed to accommodate the needs of families with children undergoing long-term treatments at the hospital.

In addition to a fireplace lounge with televisions, a fully-stocked kitchenette, computers with Wi-Fi access, shower facilities, laundry facilities and a play area, the new room features seven sleeping pods to allow parents to sleep comfortably on hospital grounds.

“Parents often sleep – anxious and uncomfortably – in chairs or at the foot of the bed in their child’s room,” says Jane Marco, RMH Toronto CEO. “Providing a space for a few uninterrupted hours of sleep is a great benefit to parents in a hospital.”

The pods, which include fully-reclining easy chairs, lighting, personal electronic device outlets, a coat hook and a shelf, were modeled from the concept of sleeping compartments in executive class airliners. Each pod is surrounded by a low, wood-paneled wall for privacy.

“These pods provide privacy, comfort and security in a very efficient layout to maximize the number of people who can sleep in a relatively small space,” says Robert Davies, Principal at Montgomery Sisam Architects. “They also provide a sense of community. You fall asleep knowing that every other parent in the room shares some of your experience.”

Since completion, the new Family Room has already been used over 1,900 times. RMH Toronto and Montgomery Sisam Architects are in the process of designing similar rooms for the Rouge Valley Health System. They are scheduled to open in spring 2015.

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