GROUPS of children at an after school club have knitted fidget blankets for a care home that cares for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The children, who attend Playworks Shafton, based at Shafton Community Centre, have been creating the blankets since September for Holly Tree Care Home on Sceptone Grove.

The care home takes care of 41 elderly residents who have dementia, which is is a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with memory loss, mood and difficulties carrying out daily activities.

Fidget blankets are given to those who suffer with Alzheimer’s and dementia as when they become restless, they fidget, pulling at clothes or blankets, wringing their hands, or rubbing their hands together and the blankets are one way to help restore calm.

Adele Towers, who runs Playworks Shafton, said: “Myself and other staff members have had family members suffer with this terrible disease and it’s close to our hearts.

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“People with dementia play with their hands a lot so this blanket is a welcome distraction for them as it keeps them busy and the kids have enjoyed making them.

“This project has also raised awareness for the children about dementia as they don’t usually see the side effects of the disease so it’s helped them to understand the condition a little bit more.”

The children delivered the fidget blankets to the care home last Thursday and spent time singing songs and interacting with the residents.

Laura Burd, activities co-ordinator at Holly Tree, said: “It was a lovely gift and the residents really enjoyed the visit from the children they responded really well.

“The residents love interacting with children and looking at the blankets. We even had residents handing out sweets to the children. It was a lovely treat.”