Skip to main content
Cristine Henage shows off the dementia sleeves she has knitted
Cristine Henage shows off the dementia sleeves she has knitted.

Cristine Henage is the Assistant Director of Training and Research for the Center for Aging and Health in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at UNC. Over the UNC December Holiday break, she put some old yarn to use by crocheting sleeves for dementia patients. But what’s the purpose of these sleeves?

According to Jenny Parnell, Administrative Director Medical/Surgical Nursing at Wayne UNC Health, “The hospital can add to a dementia patient’s confusion. Sometimes they pull out their IVs. The sleeves cover the IVs and help to distract patients from the intrusive IVs that might look scary to them.” Parnell is one of the leaders of the UNC Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative (DFHI).

DHFI provides training to all levels of hospital staff in best practices at five UNC hospitals to improve outcomes for people living with dementia. This multi-year initiative received funding from the Duke Endowment. Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD is the Principal Investigator.

Before the pandemic, Henage volunteered at UNC Memorial Hospital in the Geropsychiatry unit. There, she provided emotional support and friendly visits for patients living with dementia. Since the pandemic has precluded her from volunteering, she is able to continue giving back by making these sleeves.

For more information on the Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative visit the UNC Division of Geriatric Medicine’s DFHI page.