Beckenham Quilters
Beckenham Quilters

Fidget quilts for people with dementia

A person with Alzheimer’s dementia or other memory loss may be soothed by a Dementia Fidget quilt. Often, during later stages of dementia, their hands fidget as though agitated or searching for something to hold. The person with dementia may pull on their clothing or bedding, rubbing their hands up and down. The Fidget Quilt has pockets and zippers and buttons and lots of things to fiddle with, and can keep their hands busy for hours. They can be large to lay across their lap or as small as needed.

 

These quilts have proved to be very popular in local care homes that care for people with dementia.

 

The following guidelines give an indication of the best 'ingredients' and designs-

 

  • Must be washable at 40 degrees
  • Bright, contrasting background colours - no white.
  • No single background colour, or densely patterned fabric, break it up into highly contrasting squares, and  contrasting fiddly bits that don't blend in with the background. 
  • Buttons can be used  but must be large and very well stitched on, recommend sewing into the background fabric to give better purchase. and using crochet thread or perle.
  • Nothing sharp or pointed that could be used as a weapon, eg, keys
  • Little soft toys are good but  they must be securely stitched or preferably threaded on to the background square. 
  • Shiny, twinkly fabrics are good, but not sequins because they can be picked off. 
  • Different textures, rough, shiny, furry, spare crochet/knitted squares,  etc
  • Picture fabrics are good, and pockets with hidden items , stitched, not removable.
  • Bells and squeakers are good , squeakers hidden, bells threaded on ribbons which are well anchored.  
  • Cellophane squashed into a fabric bag makes a nice scrunchy sound.

Examples made by Anne are shown below-

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