Hamilton care home introduces ‘twiddle cushions’ to support residents with dementia

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Avonbridge care home in Hamilton has received a donation of 15 ‘twiddle cushions’ from the local Salvation Army, to help residents with dementia feel more at ease.

The cushions, which have been made by members of the Salvation Army, include items that belonged to loved ones who have passed away. They contain different textures, and external features, including buttons, toggles, and ribbons to provide a tactile experience for the residents.

The home was visited by the group after being invited by Activities Co-ordinator, Wilma Cringles.

The cushions are particularly beneficial for those residents who have dementia, as they focus attention and the action of ‘twiddling’ can have a calming effect.

Michelle Ruiz- Beltran, Home Manager at Avonbridge, said: “When the Salvation Army said they were going to visit, we thought they would be performing with the band, but then they arrived with these wonderful cushions. It was very thoughtful and will be so beneficial for our residents.

“People living with dementia can become distressed or distracted easily, and having something to focus on and play with will make such a difference.”

Margaret Thomson, from the Salvation Army, said: “I was given a knitting pattern for a twiddle muff years ago, but I didn’t like it. My friend Flora was visiting a relative in hospital and saw a lady with a twiddle cushion, and I just thought it was a brilliant idea. Flora’s mum, who was a bit of a hoarder, gave me lots of materials, including her late husband’s braces and the tartan from Flora’s kilt, and I made the first one.

“I realised this could do a lot of good for the residents at Avonbridge, particularly those with dementia, and I invited people from my church to spend an afternoon making the cushions we donated to the home. It’s been very popular, and we hope to be making another donation in the near future.”

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