Crafting fidget blankets for dementia patients

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

Fidgit-Blanketsby Sylene Argent

In an effort to keep the minds and hands of individuals who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s busy, parishioners of Trinity Anglican Church, that little white church in the cemetery in Cottam, are crafting fidget blankets.

The fidget blankets are made of donated materials the parishioners have collected from the community. Each blanket is unique, but all are equipped with items that will help stimulate the minds and keep busy the hands of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease patients at area nursing and rest homes.

For around the past month, around 30 members of the local church have crafted the fidget blankets and have, to date, donated 23 items, most of which went to Iler Lodge.

“Somebody had mentioned [the idea] and a couple of us overtook the project,” Brenda Layson, one the fidget blanket crafters, said.

The program, though still in its infancy, has grown in demand. Church members are preparing more blankets to fill orders at five other homes in the area.

In communication with area homes, the crafters have learned what works well on the blankets and what does not. Typically, they include a stuffed animal, beading, zippers, ribbons, large buttons, and textured materials.

Because Trinity Church parishioners make the blankets from donated materials, they urge area individuals to contribute to the program. They will even take washed clothing that is torn or worn to salvage the zippers and other materials.

The crafters are also reaching out to each of the rest and nursing homes in the county in hopes of being able to donate the fidget blankets to those who would enjoy using them.

“Our goal is to service every rest home and nursing home in the county. It is so nice to be able to give back to these people who have done so much for us [with something that] gives them comfort and is fun,” Layson said.

She urges those who have materials to donate to the fidget blanket program to call her at 519-839-5184 or the church office at 519-776-7711 to make a drop-off arrangement. Representatives of rest or nursing homes who would like to order the donated fidget blankets can also contact program reps via phone.