A group of West Island women have been knitting and distributing memory muffs for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia across the island.

“The muffs are colourfully knitted with lots of different textured wool and have five items to fiddle with on the outside and four things to fiddle with on the inside,” says Lucy Anglin, who is in charge of the project for the Church of St. John the Baptist in Pointe Claire. “They help calm patients with dementia by giving them something to hold and manipulate.”

The women started the project in February 2016 after one of them saw a pattern for the muffs on a webpage based in the United Kingdom.

“Each muff is unique and each patient has their own to keep,” said Anglin. “The muffs are made with donated remnant wool, buttons, ribbons, beads, buckles, toggles, zippers and other trinkets, so we need people to drop off wool and trinkets at the church. We also will give out the pattern to anyone who would like to make the muffs for their own community.”

The women have distributed more than 350 muffs to several West Island residences, including two different Sunrise Senior Living Residences, Chateau sur le lac, Le Vivalis, CHSLD Centre Vigi, Chateau Dollard, Chateau Pierrefonds, The Bayview, Place Heron, Le Selection, The Maxwell and The Fulford. They’ve also given them to NOVA, the Veterans Hospital and the Alzheimer Society of Montreal.

“The activities coordinators in these residences are delighted to be able to hand out memory muffs to their patients and really appreciate what our church is doing for the West Island community,” said Anglin. “One lady really enjoyed hers so much, she actually passed away holding it.”

All the labour and materials are donated and anyone who needs a memory muff can receive one for free, but the women have also sold them for a $20 donation. At the end of December 2016, these sales enabled them to send a $700 cheque to Camp Amy Molson for inner city children.

You can drop off materials for the project at the Church of St. John the Baptist, 233 Ste. Claire in Pointe Claire. More information is available via the church Facebook page at www.stjtheb.ca.

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