“Busy blankets” calm residents with dementia

Finding creative ways to improve the quality of life for long-term residents living with dementia can be a challenge. Often, during later stages of dementia, people become less verbal and their hands fidget as though agitated or looking for something to hold. “Busy blankets” can have a soothing effect.

Volunteers create and donate the blankets, which can come in many forms: large quilts or lap-size mats, hand muffs or even books. Each piece is unique with varied cloth textures, bright colours and stimulating features like buttons, pockets, zippers and other knick-knacks that residents can toy with.

The activity blankets are very popular with residents at St. Martha’s continuing care unit at the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. The blankets keep fidgeting hands busy and are a conversation piece with staff and family. 

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