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Palliative care patients who are approaching the end of their life at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) are being gifted a special token of kindness—a unique blanket, made with love by PAH staff and volunteers.
Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant Letecia Wilson said the blankets were given to patients and their families to help make the environment feel less clinical.
“Most of Australia's population wish to die at home, unfortunately this is not always possible, therefore we’ve tried this initiative as a small way of trying to bring home to the hospital for patients and their families,” she said.
“Families are also encouraged to bring in their loved one’s favourite pillow or blanket from home to create that homely environment, but sometimes the families are unable to get home or find that extra job a little overwhelming at an already difficult time.”
Ms Wilson said the blankets were also a reminder to all staff to be sensitive when they entered the room.
“It’s a reminder of the humanity of healthcare and to spend that extra minute in the room with the person, to carefully touch the patient and communicate in a caring manner, to show compassion to the person and their loved ones at a very vulnerable time in their life,” she said.
PAH Volunteer Dawn, who is credited with making the blanket project a success, spent countless hours individually sewing labels on every blanket.
“Dawn delivers a fresh supply whenever we need, with a warm and engaging smile,” Ms Wilson said.
“Families of patients have provided positive feedback saying it’s a nice way of ‘warming the room’ ‘making things less scary' and shows a nice ‘personal touch’.
“Families are also encouraged to take the blankets home and keep them as a reminder of their loved one, if they wish.”
Ms Wilson said the wider community also supported the initiative.
“The quilt makers at Peppermint Stitches have also generously donated a number of beautifully made patchwork quilts for our patients,” she said.
“We’re so thankful for their ongoing support.”