Stitched with love: Wife of former Palliative Care patient quilts for future patients and families
Horizon, NBMS partner on physician wellness project at the DECRH
“A bit of comfort in memory of Eldon Gilmore 2020” is stitched on the back of seven handmade quilts in the Palliative Care unit at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital (TMH). Those simple words and the kind gesture behind them have provided much needed warmth and comfort to palliative care patients and their loved ones. When Rosemonde Gilmore’s husband Eldon passed away in the summer of 2020, after a month-long stay in the Palliative Care unit, she knew she wanted to do something to honour his memory. So, she began quilting. Quilting became an addictive hobby she picked up after retiring from her long career as a pharmacist. She learned most of her techniques through Victoria’s Quilts Canada, an organization that makes and donates quilts to people living with cancer in Canada.
“There are seven beds in palliative care, so I wanted to do (quilt) one for each bed,” said Rosemonde. In two months, she completed six quilts, each with unique fabric and pattern. A quilter friend offered one of her creations so Rosemonde could have seven quilts to donate. “The quilts have a positive impact on our patients, as they provide a home-like environment, warmth and comfort at a very difficult time,” said Lana Hebert, the unit’s nurse manager. “Patients and families use them to cuddle up with. They are wonderful for keeping patients warm at night.” Days and nights in palliative care can be long, and having extra comfort goes a long way. Rosemonde knows first-hand the difficult experience of sitting with a loved one in palliative care. “The quilts are for the patients and the family,”
she said. “Family members are sitting there for months on end. Just sitting there, day after day, and they get cold.” Lana and her team were surprised by the caring gesture. “This act of kindness and concern for other people going through a very difficult time is inspirational,” said Lana. “The donation helped staff realize how much the care they provide impacts not only the patient, but their family.” Rosemonde is overcome with emotion when she reminisces about her experience delivering the quilts to the palliative care team. “When I brought the quilts in, two of the staff came out and gushed over them,” she recalls. “These were the people I saw a lot when he (Eldon) was in the hospital, so it meant a lot to see how happy they were.” Eldon, of course, had his own quilt while he was a patient, but that one is stored safely at home.
When physicians at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECRH) in Fredericton approached the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) and its Wellness program about supporting the installation of a bicycle rack at the hospital, it was a natural fit. “NBMS Wellness is here to support physician wellness initiatives, and this was a project that had been on the minds of physicians for some time,” says Lisa LePage, chief operating officer of the NBMS. “We saw great value in partnering with Horizon on this project.” Though it was delayed by the pandemic, a new bicycle rack that accommodates both modern bicycles and fat bikes was installed in November 2020 at the hospital’s physician entrance. The rack, installed on a new concrete pad, enables physicians to better secure their bicycles if they cycle to work. It has spots for 14 bicycles. “Physicians are extremely busy, so it can be hard to find time for exercise,” says Dr. Erica Frecker, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the DECRH who initially approached NBMS Wellness about this project. “Biking is a great way to clear my head between home and work.” Daniel Lynch, Manager of Facilities Management at the hospital, said the previous bike rack was older, less secure and did not accommodate some modern styles of bicycles. “This was on our wish list for a couple of years but when the NBMS reached out in support, we were able to expedite the project,” he said. “We had a lot of communication back and forth in terms of timelines. We tried to push it through quicker but given the year that we’ve had with COVID and delays securing a
Dr. Erica Frecker, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Horizon’s DECRH, and Dr. LiamHickey, Urologist, in front of the hospital’s new bike rack.
said. “I know I feel better when I am more physically active. With our busy schedules, finding time for exercise is difficult. Now that there is a reliable place to secure bicycles at the hospital, there is one less barrier for us to work physical activity into our commute.” This article was published in collaboration with the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) Communications team.
contractor, it just wasn’t possible.” Despite the delays, he was glad to see it installed. Dr. Liam Hickey, a urologist at the hospital, believes health facilities play an important role in promoting healthy choices. “Encouraging and facilitating active transportation is a simple way to send a positive message to the public about making healthy choices,” he
Fourth annual Sussex Health Centre PJ Drive a success
Staff at Horizon’s Sussex Health Centre once again collected pajamas for the Sussex Salvation Army in mid-December as part of their fourth annual PJ Drive. Despite the pandemic, this year’s drive proved to be very successful, with 308 pairs of pajamas donated to the community. Estelle Arbing, an Emergency Department nurse, spearheaded the drive, which garnered support from staff, friends, family and community members. “With the current situation we’re in because of the pandemic we didn’t set a goal for this year’s drive,” said Monica Tays, Nurse Manager. “We felt that any amount would be a blessing.” The Sussex Health Centre PJ drive has donated 827 pairs of pajamas since 2016 to help keep the community warm and cozy and the team is already looking forward to their fifth annual drive in 2021!
PJ Drive Project Lead Estelle Arbing, RN, preparing to donate the 308 pairs of pajamas to the Sussex Salvation Army.
Two of the seven handmade quilts Rosemonde Gilmore donated to the palliative care unit at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital.
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