How to Make Sensory Blankets for Dementia Care

How to Make Sensory Blankets for Dementia Care

Found In: Activities Sensory Dementia Articles

Sensory Mats or Fidget Blankets provide a soothing and stimulating activity for people living with dementia or recovering from strokes.
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Sensory Mats or Fidget Blankets provide a soothing and stimulating activity for people living with dementia or recovering from strokes.

The size of your fidget blankets is up to you; the dimensions below make a lap mat as per the photo that can be tied at the waist or positioned on a table with velcro.

What you need

  • Volunteers and sewing machines. Not all volunteers need to know how to sew; they can decorate, cut fabric, and separate items for personalised mats.
  • Decorations: Leftover wool, strings, buttons, zippers, buckles, bells, fabric in different textures, soft toys, squishy and squeaky items, key rings, beads, and more.
  • Stiff stabilizer, fusible on both sides. – 1 piece 24 X 19 inches or 56 X 47 cm
  • Fabric - 2 pieces (front and back) - 24 X 19 inches or 56 X 47 cm

Assembly

  • Lay first piece of fabric right side up on a table
  • Lay second piece of fabric, right side down (on top of first fabric)
  • Lay stabilizer on top of fabrics
  • Sew around and leave one side open
  • Turn fabric layers inside out
  • Now you have the interfacing between the two layers of the mat fabric
  • Finish mat’s open side by folding inwards and sewing shut.
  • Iron the mat well to allow the interface to fuse
  • Sew all around the 4 sides of the mat once more to finish the base.

Decorating

Use your imagination; anything interesting and safe is suitable. Decorations should be securely attached to fabric for safety reasons.

For example: Sew on a zipper, attach buttons, make a button hole for large buttons with button flaps, sew in a bunch of wool strands (about 7 inches/18cm - to be braided); attach belt and buckle, sew in a fluffy piece of fabric and leather, attach pom-poms, squish toys, and more. Attach soft toys, sew in a little pocket, large colourful beads, key ring and attach it to mat.

Variations

  • Mats may be personalized, e.g. if the client was a hairdresser, attach things she would recognise and enjoy to touch.
  • You may wish to make it into an apron by placing ribbons on the sides.

Remember that people living with dementia must be supervised.

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Comments   Post a Comment

Jayne 12th Apr 2017
I am unable to see any instructions - blank sheet of paper. Please advise - this looks great!
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