When you think of inpatient attire, you may just think of hospital gowns. Patients aren’t going anywhere, so why get dressed, right? Not quite. Patients who are well enough are encouraged to get dressed every day. In fact, when it comes to Rehabilitation patients, getting dressed becomes part of their therapy. When patients don’t have clothing to put on, that can hinder their progress.
Katie Petherick and Coleen Potts, both Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy Assistants (OTA/PTAs), found that some of their patients who don’t have family living nearby didn’t have clothing or other personal hygiene items. They wanted to change that. They contacted Kristy Knott, a transcriptionist at Trenton Memorial Hospital (TMH) who set up a Comfort Cupboard for patients at TMH a couple of years ago, to get some advice.
Kristy told them all about the Comfort Cupboard and even sent some clothes over to Belleville General Hospital (BGH) to help Katie, Colleen and the Therapies team get a Comfort Closet set up at BGH.
“Kristy was so helpful in getting us started,” said Coleen. “Since then, we held a Christmas breakfast to raise money to buy toiletry items and additional clothing; Dr. Hanga Agoston and Dr. Julie Bryson donated money; Charlene Quinn (Patient Care Lead) set up a clothing drive on Sills 3; and a staff member with a contact at Value Village got a couple of boxes of clothing donated.”
The BGH Comfort Closet has come a long way in the past few months and the Therapies team plans to keep doing small fundraisers to keep it stocked.
“A patient that was going home had nothing, but because of the Comfort Closet we were able to get him clothing and pack him up some extra clothing and toiletries to take home,” said Kim Fletcher, Manager of Rehabilitation. “Kudos to Katie, Coleen and the Therapies team, and to everyone else who has donated.”
Units that have patients in need of clothing or personal care items can contact the Therapy team member on their unit to access the Comfort Cupboard. Anyone wishing to donate gently used clothing can contact Katie Petherick or Coleen Potts.