St. Clair College Students Keeping Senior Patients Busy | St. Clair College
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Fashion design student holding up a fidget blanket at WRH.

A group of our St. Clair College students are making sure some of our senior patients stay stimulated while spending time in the hospital.

Students from our Fashion Design Program have designed and created more than 25 fidget blankets to be given to patients - but what is a fidget blanket?

The blankets are therapeutic lap-sized quilts that provide sensory and tactile stimulation for the restless hands of those with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. The blankets have different items such as fur, pockets, buttons or zippers sewn to them. These small quilts alleviate boredom by keeping the patient's hands busy while providing a calming effect through repetitive motion.

Our St. Clair College's Fashion Design students have a long history of lending a hand to Windsor Regional Hospital creating and donating items like designer PJs for toddlers, hospital gowns for patients, and 640 fabric masks to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic. This time around, 30 students from the Fashion Design Program Fabric Science course took on the fidget blanket project.

"The students are upcycling donated fabrics and notions from the community," explains Fashion Design Program Professor Elaine Chatwood. "The project is a perfect example of circular design, by utilizing supplies that would have ended up in a landfill."

"I believe this is the third project our Fashion Design faculty and students have carried out in partnership with Windsor Regional Hospital. In the past, they've created gowns for those undergoing MRI exams and cloth face masks for staff during the pandemic," says St. Clair College President Patti France. "These fidget blankets are the latest example of this unique and mutually beneficial relationship between our local educational and healthcare institutions. I hope this serves as a message to the whole community: if you think that any of the programs at St. Clair might be able to help your organization, get in touch with us."

The fidget blankets will be distributed to appropriate patients in the coming months.

Windsor Regional Hospital thanked the Fashion Design students for their time and effort put into this project!