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Your sensory creations are helping our patients

Date: 23 September 2022

Earlier this year we asked people who enjoy sewing and knitting to use their craft skills to create sensory items for people with dementia using Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s (SCFT’s) services.

We asked staff, their friends and families, and members of the public to create colourful lap quilts and twiddle muffs. These crafted items have sensory items attached providing visual and tactile stimulation, helping to reduce anxiety and increase relaxation for people living with dementia.

In addition to lap quilts and twiddle muffs, people also sent in dignity vests. Dignity vests protect clothing at mealtimes while promoting dignity by not looking like a bib.

We had a phenomenal response and dozens of crafty creations were sent to SCFT’s Dementia Team. Each lap quilt, twiddle muff and dignity vest will be given as a gift to a patient who can take it home when leaving one of our Intermediate Care Units (ICUs).

The Caring Through Crafting group sent in a large donation of sensory items for our patients. The group started crafting for those in need at the start of the pandemic making scrubs, gowns and face coverings. They also provide food banks, refugee groups, neonatal units, and cancer and head injury patients with items that are in need.

See a selection of photos of some of the donated items from Caring Through Crafting below:

Photo: Fran Hamilton, Deputy Dementia Lead at SCFT, with lots of donated blankets, lap quilts, twiddle muffs and dignity vests.

Photo: Fran Hamilton demonstrating a twiddle muff and a dignity vest.

Photo: Close up of a twiddle muff with sensory items attached.

Fran Hamilton, Deputy Dementia Lead at SCFT, commented:

“We are so grateful to all the creative people who have sent in such lovely and imaginative sensory gifts for our patients. The response has been incredible!

“Each lap quilt, twiddle muff and dignity vest will make such a difference to every patient living with dementia using our services to feel calmer and more relaxed when they’re feeling restless or anxious.

“A huge thank you to everyone who dedicated their time and their talents to making such beautiful gifts for our service users.”

If you are interested helping people living with dementia with your craft skills, find out more about how to create a lap quilt or a twiddle muff and send them to our Dementia Team. More donations are always welcome!