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Fidget quilts for Alzheimer patients

Fidget quilts for Alzheimer patients

Old 05-20-2016, 04:41 PM
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Default Fidget quilts for Alzheimer patients

My Mom has geriatric dementia and is almost 92. She still has a sense of humor, can carry on a conversation and dress herself etc. but her short term memory is pretty non-existent. She is in assisted living and doing pretty well, so I am thankful. When I visited in April (she lives in NC; I live in IL) I asked the head RN if the medical center (more nursing home care) could use some fidget quilts for their Alzheimer patients, and if so, what size. They said there were several patients that could benefit and that placemat size would be preferable, but it would be nice if it was on a lap board type arrangement. It took me almost a month to figure out what I was going to do since I could no longer find the inexpensive lap desks that used to be made for kids. Now they are bigger, often kidney shaped, with bars to prevent slippage of lap tops, cup holders, recessed areas for pens etc. My DH cut masonite 12" x 18" and I made a boxed pillow attached with Velcro. I used fleece for the bottom, then a "pocket" of two layers of muslin sewn in quarters and filled with 1 lb. of plastic pellets for weight, then the pillow boxing and top with the Velcro attached, stuffed with polyfill. For each fidget top I cut a 13" x 19" rectangle of super stiff Peltex and attached my 6 - 6 1/2" squares to it, overlapping as necessary. I then added a denim backing with fusible fleece and proceeded to quilt through all layers. To cover the seam allowances I used bias tape and then added various trims for visual and sensory texture. If I make more tops, they will go much faster, now that I know what I am doing LOL I then placed elastic that would avoid the Velcro placement, within the binding seam allowance, to hold the top to the board. My machine got a workout sewing through all those layers but my Bernina 1260 was a real trooper with a size 18 Jeans needle. It was challenging to design, but easy to execute, once I made up my mind. Here are the two finished products. I hope they like and use them.
From top left to Bottom right: strung plastic beads on a cord and a magnetic clasp purse with a key chain, elasticized pocket with a fleece kitten made on my embroidery machine; Minkee, chenille and ribbon flower; various textures: cotton, flannel, satin, yo-yo with button, crochet, vinyl and Minkee; a peek-a-boo block with an embroidered dog inside; and a sport zipper with ribbon pull.
L - R: Minkee and chenille square with a 3D puff stuffed with a clean cereal bag for a crinkle sound; a sport zipper in a plastic mesh material; a fleece elephant made on my emb. machine; shoe lace and grommets with the shoe string sewn to the block at the top; another peek-a-boo block with a hidden embroidered monkey; jeans pocket with a key chain and belt with plastic buckle clasp.

Here are the lap desk pillows:
top view of floral pillow
pillow and masonite top separated
fleece bottom
sports themed pillow
picture of elastic placement

I know several guilds already make these because I have seen a couple mentioned here, but I hope this inspires several more individuals or groups to try them out. Find out what size and type would work best for your local facilities. They were fun to make and similar to making a busy book for toddlers. It's a great way to use scraps of fabric and trims too.

Last edited by EmiliasNana; 05-20-2016 at 04:43 PM. Reason: add additional picture
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:56 PM
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I really like the thought you put into each one, very nice.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:36 PM
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They are very nice!!!
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:37 PM
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How very kind and thoughtful of you to create such items.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:06 PM
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You are very creative.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:09 PM
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You're so very talented. These will give many hours of enjoyment to the elderly.
Your quality of workmanship really shows.
Well done you!!!!!
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:48 PM
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I've heard these are very well received by Alzheimer patents. Yours are beautiful!
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:09 PM
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You've done a wonderful job on these! Surely they will be much used by the patients.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:13 PM
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Very thoughtful work. Good for you.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:44 PM
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Fantastic quilts.
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