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Maritime quilters bring comfort to long-term care residents in Riverview

WATCH: A group of quilters from across the Maritimes has put their skills to work to help comfort seniors in long-term care who are separated from their families due to the pandemic. Shelley Steeves has more – Oct 20, 2021

A group of Maritime quilters have put their skills to work to help comfort seniors in long-term care.

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The Comfort Quilts for Grass Home project was initiated by Susan Delaney of Riverview, N.B., whose parents are residents of Grass Home in the town.

Delaney, who learned to quilt from her now 92-year-old mother Gloria Bourgeois, said she wanted to help provide some comfort for her parents and other seniors living in the homes who have limited contact with their families due to the pandemic.

“It has been really hard not being able to be beside her and have her hug and kiss,” said Delaney.

So she recruited some of the quilters in the Greater Moncton Quilt Guild, along with some fellow quilters in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia to make and/or donate 60 quilts that are being distributed to two of Lynn Grass’s long-term care homes for seniors in Riverview.

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“I am just delighted to have a family member take this on and to give quilts to every resident in the home, which made them all smile,” said Grass.

Delaney said 22 quilter volunteers were involved in the initiative. Covered Bridge Quiltery in Riverview also donated supplies and helped in the making of some of the quilts, she said.

“Everybody heard about it and said, ‘I will give you a quilt top,’ or, ‘I will give you a quilt,'” she said.

Bourgeois lives at Grass Home with her husband, Bernard, who celebrated his 100th birthday in September. The couple have been married for 70 years.

“I know it makes me feel good to know that they are doing this,” said Bernard.

COVID-19 protocols are restricting visitation and contact with family members at the home, said Grass, especially given the outbreaks at long-term care homes across the province.

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Delaney and the volunteers hope the comfort quilts will help ease the minds of seniors, many of whom are feeling lonely and isolated, said Grass.

“It has been very difficult on the residents. Some of them might cry,” she said.

Delaney said she longs for the day when she and others can wrap their parents in a hug. But for now, the comfort quilts are spreading smiles, she said.

Each resident was able to pick out their own design and Delaney said she hopes communities across the country will copy the same pattern.

“Everybody has a long-term care home in their community and I would love to see people not forget about these people that are needing a hug right now.”


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