May 11th, 2021

Carved birds add a peaceful touch to local senior citizens

By Medicine Hat News on January 27, 2017.

The Grasslands Naturalists and the Medicine Hat Woodcarving Club visited residents at Meadow Ridge Seniors Centre on Thursday morning. The Bird Tales program is a therapeutic program that uses the birds to help people living with dementia by observing birds through sight, sound, smell and touch. The wood carving club donated small carved birds, made from wood donated by Windsor Plywood, to patients. The Bird Tales Program would like to expand to include installing and maintaining bird feeders for homebound residents and are looking for volunteers to help. For more information call 430-526-1003. Pictured are (back row) Ron Fox (carver), Dee Armstrong (Bird Tales), Paul Thibault (Bird Tales), Alison Galibraith (recreation coordinator at Meadow Ridge), Jim Greenwood (carver), (front row, seated) Meadow Ridge residents Viola Beres, Eleanor Dorn, and Pat Freeman.

Medicine Hat News

Members of the Medicine Hat Wood Carving Club are helping to make life a little more peaceful and comfortable for local seniors with a small bird-carving project.

Club members presented the first batch of wooden birds to some seniors at Meadow Ridge Seniors Village Thursday. The small birds fit comfortably in a person’s hand and “we call them comfort birds as they are very smooth and soft and are comforting to just hold and rub,” said club member Jim Greenwood.

Greenwood said comfort birds are often given to those in need, such as the ill, blind, or elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, as a token of support and an act of kindness. For many, he said, the small birds serve as a tangible item which can calm those in stress and “remind them that someone still loves and cares for them.”

The wood used for this project is western maple and was donated to the carving club by Windsor Plywood. “We would be unable to embark on a project like this without the generosity of Windsor Plywood,” said Greenwood.

The project is a joint venture between the carving club and Bird Tales, sponsored by the Society of Grasslands Naturalists. Together, the two groups are hoping to distribute approximately 100 birds into the community.

Once the first phase of the project is complete, and if there is further demand for the comfort birds, members of the carving club will create additional birds as needed and sell them for $20. If interested, call Hugh at 403-981-8473 or Terry at 403-529-7049.

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