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For a Dementia or Alzheimer’s sufferer, each day can be confusing and distressing. Patients can often feel anxious and confused and are unable to have any control over it.

This is why Wishlist arranged for ‘sensory cushions’ to be donated to the Cognitive Assessment and Management Unit (CAMU) at Nambour Hospital. After proving to be such a success, sensory aprons and sleeves have also been donated.

The cushions, aprons and sleeves are designed to decrease agitation, anxiousness or calling out behaviours and can be used as a calming tool to soothe a patient. The items in pockets stimulate the senses, occupy the hands and can be used as a distraction tool to focus the person onto an activity in which they enjoy and are familiar. The cushions and aprons can distract a patient long enough to ease agitation while the sleeves can keep patients occupied and allow cannulas and the like to stay intact.

Nambour Hospital Registered Nurse Patricia Rogers said when patients are bed bound; these sensory aprons and cushions will give them something of interest that will be hugely supportive in their recovery.

“If patients have something to play with like a sensory cushion or apron, not only are they enhancing their senses, they are going to decrease the amount of distress they are feeling which then decreases the amount of nursing hours they need.” Ms Rogers explained.

The cushions, aprons and sleeves have pockets in which assorted items are attached inside so they can be pulled out and played with but not removed. They provide a spectrum of sensory experiences including; visual, tactile and even auditory.

Diane Ware, who makes trauma teddies for the Hospital, alongside four others from The Kawana Quilters, got together and produced 18 cushions. After proving successful with patients, the Kawana Quilters got busy and produced a box of sensory aprons and sleeves that were delivered to the CAMU ward.

At Wishlist, we are committed to improving local public health services and this can’t be done without support and help from local communities.

The staff of the CAMU ward model the sensory aprons and sleeves.

The staff of the CAMU ward model the sensory aprons and sleeves.