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Rehab Shopping Spree


Hospital stays are rarely convenient, especially during the holidays.

Rehab-shopping-spree.jpgFinding time to plan, shop, and visit loved ones is exhausting enough without trying to coordinate it all from a hospital bed. Enter our Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center elves! The caring, dedicated team on Phillips Oliver 3 and Kelley 3 Inpatient Rehabilitation are doing their part to bring a bit of home to the hospital by ensuring each rehab patient has a gift to give to a loved one this holiday season.

For the last 14 Decembers, these employees have spread holiday cheer by arranging for a “shopping spree” for those patients unable to leave the unit. Throughout the year, generous employees collect gifts using their own resources. Caring and committed volunteers, rehab therapists, rehab nurses, medical professionals, hospital auxiliary members, current and former patients and their families all donate money to buy a variety of gifts that patients can browse through and give to their loved ones. Items include both homemade and purchased gifts for children, teens, men, women, and even pets.

“Many of our patients don’t have a chance to shop for loved ones,” says Stacy Waitt, CAC, activities coordinator, Northern Light Rehabilitation. “Our shopping spree helps lighten much of that anxiety. Patients come to our activity room, which is all decked out for the holidays, select the items they would like to give to their loved ones, and then volunteers wrap and deliver the gifts to the patient’s room. On Christmas day, our patients can surprise those who come to visit.”

In addition to bringing holiday joy to our patients and their family members, the care team also coordinates patient therapy into the project, using functional mobility, coordination, and cognitive skills during the shopping process.

This year’s patient shopping spree will take place on Thursday, December 20, 1 to 4 pm for more than 21 patients. If you would like to know more about the program, contact Stacy at 973-8580 or swaitt@northernlight.org.