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Today, I'm going to talk about Dementia quilts.
This quilt, from Nancy Evans at www.quiltersclubofamerica.com, has pockets with little dolls in them and things a sewer might have - spools of thread, etc. I might not include the safety pin, though.
A dementia quilt is a small lap quilt that includes things that might trigger something from a dementia patient's senses. Sometimes they are called "Fidget Quilts" because they inspire the patient to interact and fidget with the quilt.
A Dementia quilt will typically be garish colors and multi-textural, and will likely include things you would not ordinarily put on a quilt. Buttons. Zippers. Shoelaces. Rickrack. Lace. Beads. Teddy bears. Pockets. Pockets with things in them that are tied down so they won't get lost. Neckties. Mittens. Socks. Jingle bells. Ribbons.
Just about anything works. For a men's quilt, You might get some nuts from a hardware store and string them on a shoelace, then stitch the ends of the shoelace down so that the patient will fidget with the nuts and push them from one end of the lace to the other. You could stitch the front of a shirt with buttons that the patient can button and rebutton a hundred times. You could put the fly part of a pair of jeans so the patient can zip and unzip and maybe remember what it used to mean to be a man.
It is often helpful to design the quilt using a theme that was important to the patient during their healthy life. Did they like gardening? put flowers on the quilt. Did they have a favorite sports team? Put the team logo on it.
I once cut up one of my deceased father's neckties into several pieces. I stitched down both pointy ends where the pointy part is free. A middle piece I tied in a loose knot and anchored both ends to the quilt.
For a woman's quilt, you might get a small teddy bear and take most of the stuffing out of the belly, then stitch it down with the head, arms and legs free so the patient can move them and kiss them and suck on them.
You might stitch in a colorful plastic scrubber pad. A gardening glove. A baby sock.
You could add doilies, fake fur. Pompons. Elastic bead bracelets. A dress collar. A length of wide elastic. Really, anything that might trigger a memory will do. And even if it doesn't trigger anything, the hours spent fidgeting with it are soothing for the patient as well.
It is important to remember to keep the pieces well anchored so they can't get free and become a choking hazard. Assume the patient is an infant.
Here is a link that describes how the idea of Dementia quilts (Fidget Quilts) came to be: http://designerann.blogspot.com/...
Most of these pictures are ones that I got from the web. The original artist and URL are associated with the pictures.
This one, another from Nancy Evans, has a shoelace, jeans pocket, a belt buckle, and a keychain.
This one, from the Etsy shop EndearingDignite, has a braid, hair curlers, a little purse and a chain of pom poms that the patient can thread through a series of plastic rings.
This is the same quilt as above showing all the things that the patient can do with this quilt. They can unbraid the "hair", open the purse, unclip the curlers.
This one, again from EndearingDignite, has a pocket from a pair of men's pants, a bit of fake fur and a comb
Another one from EndearingDignite, this one is a golf theme. It has a golf towel, some tees and a zipper. I might not put the tees on the quilt unless they are firmly anchored, but it is a good example of a quilt that might remind the patient of a beloved hobby.
All these next ones are from designerann.blogspot.com:
Well, these are what Dementia Quilts are all about.
My quilt guild, the Citrus Belt Quilters are doing this as a community service project. Just this week, we delivered 35 dementia quilts to a local convalescent home. They offered to buy them from us, but we refused the money.
I hope this diary has provided you with some ideas about therapeutic quilts.
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