With knitting needles in hand, clients and carers at Home Instead have been busy knitting and chatting as they create comforting patient blankets for the two palliative care units, Elsie’s Project.
A 12-bed palliative care unit operates at Gosford Hospital and a second unit will open mid-2024 at Wyong Hospital.
Eight clients and their caregivers attended the first of the Knit & Natter events late last month at Home Instead’s office.
This new social event is an extension of the monthly Enhance luncheons for caregivers and clients to foster social connection and eliminate loneliness.
“Companionship and care are at the centre of what Home Instead does and we work hard to ensure our clients feel socially connected through our organised events,” Home Instead Community Engagement Manager, Samantha Farham, said.
“As our client attendee numbers at Enhance have grown to full capacity, we asked our clients who attended the luncheons what other ideas, interests, or suggestions they had for future activities.
“From their suggestions we designed a new social events calendar that now includes three new activities to accompany our monthly luncheons – Knit & Natter, Games Day and Arts & Craft.”
In May this year, Home Instead donated $10,000 to Elsie’s Project, and as part of the provider’s ongoing support for the project, the Knit & Natter knitters were asked if they would like to knit or crochet 12-inch squares that could eventually be made into single-bed blankets for patients.
Farham said everyone was very excited to be continuing to help the cause.
“Some brought knitting, others crochet, and everyone enjoyed a Devonshire tea,” she said.
“A few clients also cheekily gave their caregivers strict homework on finishing their squares.
“We even had one of our clients, Margaret Wood, and her caregiver on hand for any questions or help with knitting or crocheting.
“Margaret is famous at our Enhance event luncheons for gifting knitted coathangers, beanies and tissue holders to other clients.
“She knits at night time as it keeps her hands active and helps with her arthritis.”
Fellow client Josie Rutherford thoroughly enjoyed the Knit & Natter event.
“It was a lovely day and one that brings people together,” she said.
Farham said the event was such a great success that they had booked in two November dates and one in December.
“It was lovely to see our clients come together, socialise, meet new people and make new friends, plus there were a lot of giggles,” she said.
“Everyone who attended has asked to come to the next one.
“We can’t wait to see how many blankets we can make for Elsie’s Project.”