Have you ever heard of ‘Fiddle Blankets’?
Jean Williams, a supporter of Henleigh Hall Care Home in Sheffield spends a considerable amount of her time making these special blankets for residents in our home.
A ‘fiddle blanket’ is a blanket that has several different objects attached to it for the purpose of reducing the emotional escalation which can arise in people living with dementia or stressful illnesses. The blankets can be very soothing, particularly for people living with dementia as they keep a person’s hands busy, focuses them on an activity and can help to promote calmness. Features which can be found on a ‘fiddle blanket’ are things like fake fur, corduroy, suede or lambskin, yarn, ribbons, buttons, zippers, pockets, bean bags, buckles, beads, laces, key rings and common household items that can be attached and have different textures and give tactile stimulation when touched.
Jean makes the blankets at home and when she brings them in she loves to see the reactions from our residents when they receive them. A very touching moment was when a resident saw one of the blankets, picked it up and realising it would benefit one of the other residents in the home, took it over and gave it to her. Jean said “Working in creative ways contributes to the health and well-being of both the person making the blankets and the recipients. I loved making these fiddle quilts and, by the response, the residents also take enjoyment from them."
Lindsey Deignan, Manager at Henleigh Hall Care Home said “These tactile blankets are beautiful and can bring back happy memories using items that are attached. Our residents love them and we are so grateful to Jean for her generosity and expertise in creating them.”