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Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Crafters help keep patients calm
05 August 2016

The picture on the left shows colleagues from Ipswich Hospital, including dementia lead nurse Julie Sadler (sitting, right), with Erika Wilkin (sitting left) and Kate Peacher (sitting centre) from the WI. The picture on the right shows Ipswich Hospital’s Saxmundham Ward nurse Amy McTiernan showing the new fidget quilts to a patient with WI representatives Erika Wilkin (left) and Kate Peacher.

Crafters from Suffolk East Federation of WIs have donated 60 fidget quilts to our hospital to help keep unsettled patients calm during their stay.

The lap-size quilts are made from a range of textured fabrics and feature buttons, zips and ribbons which patients can open and close to maintain their hand skills and provide stimulation.

They are given to patients with dementia to offer a way to self-comfort and engage in familiar activity while also providing visual, tactile and sensory stimulation.

Julie Sadler, senior nurse for dementia care, said: “We are really grateful to members of Suffolk East Federation of WIs, who have created some really fabulous quilts for our patients as part of their Suffolk Show schedule.

“Coming into hospital can be very stressful and disorientating for people with dementia, who can find it difficult to make sense of this strange environment. These quilts play a really important role in providing a safe and comforting way to support them through what often is a frightening and difficult time for them.

“Colourful and tactile, they can also trigger memories and help the person with dementia by distracting their attention away some clinical interventions like drips and catheters.

“Feedback has shown the quilts really do make a difference to patients, who are then able to take them home with them following their admission.”

The hospital has also received donations from its own staff, chapel volunteers, Sproughton Quilters Club and local people, and is now looking for more crafters to step forward and help.

Quilts can be made from any material and have almost anything firmly sewn onto them, as long as the objects are not sharp or heavy or have any rough edges.

Anyone who has made a quilt and would like to donate it should contact Julie on 01473 703531.