Blankets boost memories for patients with dementia

Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers have clicked and crocheted their way through masses of wool to make special blankets for patients with dementia at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The blankets, made in various sizes, also include sensory ones that are stitched with different textures and items sewn into them. From buttons, zips, fringes, buckles and even a cotton reel they help dementia patients recall memories.

Deputy sister Debbie Reeder from Elsing ward said “We really appreciate all this work. The woolly blankets make patients feel at home, they are warm and soft to touch and patients express themselves through the colours in the blankets. The small ones are also good for holding as a lot of patients like them for reassurance and comfort.

The sensory blankets are ideal as patients recall using a button or a zip and they like the textures. They are very popular.”
Edna Standley from the Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers, which has 1800 members across the county, explained that all their handicraft materials are donated and they use those to make the blankets.

The hospital’s Elsing Ward specialises in the care of patients with dementia. Earlier this year the ward had environmental work carried out to help patients which included colour coding of areas to guide patients around, large local landscape photographs on the walls plus books, videos and games to help them reminisce.

The ward bays have been colour coded in yellow, purple, green and blue to match nearby toilet doors to guide patients around the ward. Items such as grab rails and toilet seats are brightly coloured to stand out. There are clocks showing the time and date to help patients orientate themselves and understand the when mealtimes will be served or when visitors will arrive.

Tuesday 30th of December 2014 04:00:33 PM