Hospital ‘overwhelmed’ with Sensory Band support from across the UK and world

Knitters from around the globe have responded to an appeal by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for sensory bands to be made for patients with dementia.

NNUH has been overwhelmed with the amazing response when during Dementia Awareness Week they asked people to take up their knitting needles to produce sensory bands.

The appeal has received an incredible response with huge numbers of sensory bands arriving daily from knitters as near to the hospital as Cringleford, to far flung places such as Florida, France, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

Integrated Dementia Services Project Manager, Liz Yaxley, explained: “The sensory band was designed to help people find comfort in tactile stimulation which they may be missing, especially when they are away from home. The bands can be reassuring and help people to feel more relaxed and safe.

“We have been overwhelmed with the number that we have received as well as how far the items have travelled in order to help our patients with dementia. We have received letters from people as far as Florida and parish groups in Cornwall and Ireland as well as local supporters helping local patients. We are so thankful to everyone who has spared the time to help our patients; it means a lot to the staff and is invaluable to the patients themselves.

“To coincide with our #iCare campaign we also asked any of our knitters to take a photo of themselves making the sensory bands and send it to us on twitter using the hashtag and twitter handle @NNUH to help show the variety of ways we can help patients with dementia – we’ve had a great response! It is so nice to see the creations online that are coming our way and people enjoying making their individual creations.”

The sensory bands are offered to a patient with dementia to keep and take home on specialist older people medicine wards as well as other areas of the hospital such as A&E and outpatient clinic areas.

Previous knitting appeals have included soft toys, hats and blankets for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but this is the first woollen request for older patients with a medical speciality.

Knitters can obtain a pattern from the website and send completed items to Communications, Level 4 West Outpatient, NNUH, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY.

Notes to editors
Dementia Awareness Week in May is an opportunity to highlight the various ways people can help patients with dementia, activities can include being a dementia friend, being a dementia champion or simply having a cup of tea and a chat with a neighbour. NNUH has launched a dementia social media campaign and are asking all to join in by tagging any dementia friendly activities with the hashtag #iCare.

Key stats include;
• An estimated 16,400 people in Norfolk have dementia (either diagnosed or undiagnosed). Equivalent to 1 in every 53 people in Norfolk or the populations of Cromer, Hunstanton and Holt combined.
• There are about 26 new cases of dementia per year per 1000 population of over 65s in Norfolk (diagnosed or undiagnosed). That equivalent to about 78 new people getting dementia in Wymondham per year.
• Over the next 20 years there will be an estimated additional 9,000 people with dementia. That is equivalent to the whole population of Downham Market. The greatest growth will be in people over 90 years old.

Wednesday 24th of June 2015 05:00:41 PM