Patients receive kind gifts from an unlikely friend

Four medical staff and one prison officer holding hand quilted fiddle mats
A/NUM Marion Underwood, Casuarina Prison Senior Officer Tim Underwood and hospital staff with the fiddle mats. Photo by Marta Pascual Juanola, Madurah Mail.
January 17, 2017

Murray District Hospital patients who suffer from dementia and other cognitive impairments recently received a kind donation of ‘fiddle mats’, handmade by inmates at Casuarina Prison.

The inmates made 12 mats in a single morning of stitching as part of their regular workshops, after Acting Nurse Unit Manager Marion Underwood approached Prison Senior Officer Tim Underwood with the idea.

Marion said the mats not only keep patients entertained but they are also less disruptive to other patients and wander less, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

The mats are individual to each patient and can be taken with them, posing no infection risk.

“It’s great to have our own fiddle mats and in the future we will know who to call if we need another supply,” Marion said.

“The next step in making the lives of our patients suffering cognitive impairments is to paint the rooms in bright colours.”