What is a Busy Hands Apron, you ask?

A Busy Hands Apron is a cosy lap cover adorned with colours and textures and activities for an elderly person who needs soothing. It looks quirky, but it’s an extremely practical comfort tool. Our cognitive abilities may fade, but our feelings don’t, and when a person is agitated, that distress is often expressed by restlessBusy Hands Apron.jpg hands.

This particular apron is for lovely Eileen, a warm and generous person who has spent a lifetime creating comfort for people around her through the small rituals of daily life – making tea, preparing food, snuggling babies, knitting, sewing, petting dogs. She has times now when she can’t remember what to do, and it upsets her. It also upsets the folks caring for her because they see her hands searching for something, but neither she nor they can work out what it is her hands are searching for.

How soothing, then, to find familiar tasks to perform … to fiddle with buttons and zippers, stroke corduroy and silky ribbon, play with lace and fringe, braid ribbon and tie a bow, slide beads along a line. They’re simple tasks that she can manage.

And what could be better for aching, aging hands than snuggling them into a pocket made of the softest fabric imaginable? Why, the surprise of discovering inside the pocket there’s a strip of butter-soft deerskin to provide extra stimulation from the smooth and slightly rough textures on the two sides.

The strings on these aprons tie at the side of the waist so the person’s caregiver can easily make or undo a bow, and so the ends don’t dangle behind when the person sits on a chair or commode. The lap cover can also be made without ties, if that’s your preference.

Each Busy Hands Apron is stitched securely for the user’s safety and is made from washable materials. The activities are tailored to the person, since, for example, someone who has never made a braid before isn’t likely to start now. For the ultimate in comfort you could send me pieces cut from your person’s familiar clothing that’s no longer wearable, and perhaps some big easy-to manage buttons from an old coat or jacket.

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