PatchNChat group members (back row) Marcia, Barbara, Carole, (front) Sonya, Nancye and Wendy with the fidget mats they made for aged care residents living with dementia.
A three-way partnership between a patchwork group, Langwarrin Community Centre and Peninsula Health has provided help in the form of ‘fidget mats’ for people living with dementia.
Melissa Jones, an allied health assistant with Peninsula Health’s occupational therapy department, said that during the COVID-19 pandemic the organisation admitted several aged care residents with dementia, and staff recognised the residents needed activities to keep them engaged during their stay. So she approached the community centre’s PatchNChat patchwork group and asked if it could make tactile mats incorporating pockets, beads, laces and textured fabrics. “Fidget mats are great for people with dementia who may have restless hands,” Ms Jones said. “They are small enough to sit on a patient’s knee and give them something soothing to focus on while sitting.”
Community centre manager Sam Neeman said the group enthusiastically embraced the project. “The PatchNChat members were thrilled to know their work is making such a difference in people’s lives,” Ms Neeman said. “It’s an added bonus for the group, who always have fun when they get together.”
Frankston City councillor Suzette Tayler said: “This is a wonderful initiative and I commend Peninsula Health, Langwarrin Community Centre and the PatchNChat members for their great work to provide this vital outlet for those living with dementia.”