Handmade Blankets Bring Extra Comfort to Hospice Patients
Oct 25, 2019 Katie Rosenblum
Blankets provide warmth, they can add style to your decor, and be used to build the perfect fort. And thanks to a volunteer program at Cedars-Sinai, they're providing comfort to patients who need it most.
As part of the Palliative Care Love Blankets program, dedicated volunteers crochet and knit blankets for patients nearing end of life.
"All the blankets we create are made with love and I like to think that when one is given to a patient, they feel that love."
The blankets are handcrafted from soft purple yarn and a custom pattern. In the center is a white field with a red heart in the middle. They are also trimmed with matching red yarn.
For the patients
Volunteer and retired ICU nurse Marlene Oberfoell has been crocheting the blankets for more than 10 years.
"I retired from Cedars-Sinai after 40 years, but I still wanted to give back," she says. "I do a lot of crocheting, so I like to do it for the patients."
To date, Marlene has completed 381 blankets. She's hoping to finish 500 before arthritis limits her ability to crochet.
A group of volunteers, many of whom are current and retired employees, meet every Tuesday to work on the blankets together. They also take materials home and work on them in their spare time.
"One of the things that's great about this program is that we can do it anywhere," says volunteer Lisa Frith, who also works at Cedars-Sinai as a voice network engineer. "I take my materials with me when I travel. It's really flexible."
When the blankets are finished, the Volunteer Services team delivers them to Palliative Care as well as the Chaplaincy Office. From there, they are given to patients in need of some extra comfort.
"All the blankets we create are made with love, and I like to think that when one is given to a patient, they feel that love," says Lisa.
"I hope it brings them a little comfort during a difficult time."
"They know somebody cares about them and is thinking about what they're going through," adds Marlene.