Those of us who care for clients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias or have family members struggling with this disease know how challenging it can be to comfort them when they are anxious or agitated.
A few years ago Anne Marie Rowe got the idea to have a special quilt made for her father who had Alzheimer’s. She noticed that just as children are soothed by a favorite blanket, her father had special objects or routines that seemed to calm him when he would get distressed. She had some quilters make her a special blanket that included buttons, zippers and pockets with different textures for her father to hold and work with. His response to this blanket was so positive that Anne Marie started The Fidget Quilt Project to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their families.
Often, as dementia progresses, people become restless or agitated and don’t know what to do with their hands. They may pull on their bedding or clothing or rub their hands together. Having a fidget blanket with activities on it can be soothing and provide an outlet for anxiety. Creating it with an individual’s specific hobbies and preferences in mind makes it special to them and a source of fun, pleasant memories.
Another fun activity is the Twiddle Kitty which provides a cuddly plush stuffed animal and activities to do while it’s being held.
We have some other fun and creative ideas for improving the lives of those we work with. The Cognasium bags we have at the office are designs specifically for our caregivers to use with our clients. Come by to see them or call us at 801-224-5910
At Aspen Senior Care we have caregivers trained in dementia care. We also run the Aspen Senior Center of Provo, a specially designed program for seniors with dementia. We provide fun, engaging activities, music and lunch, plus peace of mind for families caring for loved ones with dementia. Please visit our website or call us at (801) 607-2300 for more information. Visit our Aspen Senior Center Facebook page to see some of the fun activities they do!