Dailycaring.com named its number one article from 2017, showing that sometimes even the simplest ideas can have a significant impact. The article is about giving weighted blankets and lap pads to people with dementia to help reduce their anxiety and improve sleep.
According to the article, a 2008 study showed that weighted blankets were a safe and effective non-drug therapy for decreasing anxiety, and the results were confirmed in a 2012 study. How does it work? The heaviness of the blanket provides “deep pressure therapy”. When the body feels the gentle pressure of the blanket, it produces serotonin which improves mood and promotes calm. A typical weighted blanket for adults is about 15 to 30 pounds, but will depend on the person’s weight and physical condition. The standard guideline is that a blanket should be about 10% of the person’s body weight, plus 1 or 2 pounds (but lower if the person is frail). A lap pad is typically 2 to 5 pounds.
The article advises readers to ask a doctor before using a weighted blanket, since people with respiratory, circulatory, or temperature regulation problems, or people recovering from surgery, may not be able to safely use one.
To find out how to make your own weighted lap pad or blanket, or where to buy one, click on the link to the full article:
Please let us know if you’ve tried this with any of your residents, and have a great week!