Knitting club delivers fidget blankets, fidget muffs and shawls to Springdale Country Manor

From left to right, Gloria Nadeau, Mary Lynn Gerhardt and Sandy Bradley of the Ennismore Knitting and Crochet Seniors Club hold fidget muffs they recently made and donated to Springdale Country Manor residents.

Residents immediately start enjoying the items delivered by the Ennismore Knitting and Crochet Seniors Club

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – A Springdale Country Manor resident sits with a fidget blanket on the table in front of him. He feels its texture and smiles at the hookless fishing lure dangling from the blanket.

“Nice,” he says. The resident then starts talking with a group of the Peterborough County long-term care home’s staff members about how much he enjoyed fishing, particularly for pickerel.

This is exactly the reaction staff members love seeing.

The fidget blanket was among a large number of items that also included fidget muffs – glove-like knitted tubes adorned with objects of various shapes and textures – and shawls delivered to the home by Mary Lynn Gerhardt, Gloria Nadeau and Sandy Bradley of the Ennismore Knitting and Crochet Seniors Club.

Fidget blankets and fidget muffs provide sensory stimulation. While these items can be enjoyed by anyone, they are especially beneficial to people who have cognitive impairment.

Springdale Country Manor was one of several long-term care homes in the Peterborough area the women were visiting May 30 to deliver knitted items the club has spent several months creating.

Members of the knitting club were at Springdale Country Manor in December when they dropped off lap blankets for residents. They promised to return in the spring with more items.

There are 20 members of the Ennismore Knitting and Crochet Seniors Club. Mary Lynn, the club’s director, says the club buys its own wool and materials but also accepts donations.

Aside from the donations of knitted goods the club provides to long-term care homes, the group also donates to many other organizations including the Canadian Armed Forces, which delivers blankets, sweaters and other items the club knits for people living in developing countries.

Mary Lynn says the knitting club members enjoy the work they do for community organizations. As she looks around Springdale Country Manor’s living room at the residents enjoying the items the club had just dropped off, Mary Lynn says their reaction makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“It’s unbelievable; you get goosebumps,” she says. “It makes us so proud.”

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