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Old 11-01-2017, 09:03 AM   #1
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Fidget quilt for dementia patients

Hi, friends. As many of you know, my MIL lives in a nursing home. Due to uncontrolled diabetes, she had a serious stroke-like episode a couple years ago. Apparently after suffering brain damage like that, people can develop dementia or Alzheimer's disease. That has happened with her.

I came across an ad online for a fidget quilt for dementia patients. It's a lap-size quilt with lots of little things attached to it, like ribbons, zippers, buttons, fabrics with different textures, etc. The idea is that it engages the mind and hands of people with dementia, who often pull at their clothes, and can help calm them.

I found that there are a lot of Etsy stores by people who make these by hand, so I bought one for my MIL. There are lots of colors and styles to choose from. My MIL likes bright colors, flowers and birds. If you sew, of course you could make your own.

Just wanted to share in case you know of someone who might benefit from one of these.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:35 PM   #2
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That's neat.

It reminds me of the cloth book I had as a toddler.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vntg-rag-bo...QAAOSwridZ7Q90
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:46 PM   #3
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What a great idea GG.

I wonder if something like this would have benefitted my mom who had uncontrollable hands/ finger twitches because of her Parkinson's. She was also self conscious about that, and would grab her purse to hold onto on her lap whenever someone came over. Then the twitches stopped as long as she was clutching something.

2ndly, when the grands were both too young to be mobile, they both had several blankies with various things attached to grab ahold of and keep themselves entertained, I guess you are never too young or old for tactile comfort.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:16 PM   #4
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Yes, they're also available for babies and toddlers. I've also seen that they're used with children with autism and ADHD. I can see how it might have been helpful for your mom, Whiska.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:47 PM   #5
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Love those! We have several for our residents. What a thoughtful gift GG!
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:20 PM   #6
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Love those! We have several for our residents. What a thoughtful gift GG!
Thank you, PF I hope that endorsement means they work well. It makes sense to me, but of course I have no experience with people who use it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:47 PM   #7
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What an awesome idea. I'm really tempted to get one of those for my sweet neighbor, Ann.
She's still in her home thanks to her caregivers, but I don't think it will be for much longer. She loves to fiddle with things and I think she would love something like this.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:29 PM   #8
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What a great idea GG.

I wonder if something like this would have benefitted my mom who had uncontrollable hands/ finger twitches because of her Parkinson's. She was also self conscious about that, and would grab her purse to hold onto on her lap whenever someone came over. Then the twitches stopped as long as she was clutching something.

2ndly, when the grands were both too young to be mobile, they both had several blankies with various things attached to grab ahold of and keep themselves entertained, I guess you are never too young or old for tactile comfort.
My uncle has Parkinson's, and his father suffered from dementia as he got close to his end of life, and it isn't the same. Having something to hold onto helps Parkinson's patients with the uncontrollable body movements. Something like a figit quilt helps a dementia patient by giving them something to focus on.

BTW, a stroke can bring on dementia in someone who might not have developed it otherwise. I have a neighbor about my age who is developing dementia after having two strokes.

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Old 11-01-2017, 10:10 PM   #9
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Fidget Quilts - some folks like them, others think they are being treated as a child. May need to wait until last stages of Dementia/Alzheimer's for them to be effective. Some residents are happy holding baby dolls.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:56 AM   #10
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I'm not sure what the last stages look like. She sometimes recognizes her family members and sometimes doesn't (my FIL visits her twice a day at lunch and dinner). She can't speak very well and is confined to a wheelchair. So it's hard for me to know.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:44 PM   #11
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I'm not sure what the last stages look like. She sometimes recognizes her family members and sometimes doesn't (my FIL visits her twice a day at lunch and dinner). She can't speak very well and is confined to a wheelchair. So it's hard for me to know.
Unfortunately, the last stages don't look any different. It's more about what they have lost in short term memory, recognition and daily living skills. Most of my dementia patients are the healthiest elders you have ever seen.

My remark was a generalization about how some patients see fidget quilts. I stand firmly behind the use of them, but don't feel like it's inappropriate if your MIL does not like it at first. She just may not be ready at her current mental status for it, she will like it later. I would suggest washing it first and sprinkling with your FIL's aftershave. Unless, of course, you can get him to sleep with it until his scent is on it. Smell memory is very strong.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:17 PM   #12
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Thanks, PF. I'll suggest that and let my FIL decide what to do based on how she reacts. I appreciate your insights
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:09 PM   #13
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Thanks, PF. I'll suggest that and let my FIL decide what to do based on how she reacts. I appreciate your insights
My pleasure.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:35 AM   #14
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Fidget Quilts - some folks like them, others think they are being treated as a child. May need to wait until last stages of Dementia/Alzheimer's for them to be effective. Some residents are happy holding baby dolls.
Bahaha! "I'm not TWO!!!" is the response I have gotten from my Mom. And she is not two, but she lets me know when I try to engage her using children toys, etc. Bit tired, with all the snow and deer hunting, caregivers have called and not shown up. A hard day for me, nice day for Mom.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:58 AM   #15
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Sorry about that, CWS. My MIL is no longer verbal, and she seems depressed to her family, so I'm hoping her response will be more positive.
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:45 PM   #16
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There are good days and bad days, and then there are some horribly bad days. My Mom is much better one-on-one. My biggest problem is my Dad. He has a really hard time accepting Mom in the here and now. Music seems to really work with my Mom. She'll tap her feet and sing along, or whistle.i do know that when her routine is interrupted, e.g
, I am gone, she gets really agitated. I talk to her all the time, even if she doesn't talk back. I buy her new clothes whenever I can. It is really important to me that she is dressed nicely. She was always a classy lady. My Mom is "in there." I don't let my Dad or caregivers talk as if she can't understand, she can, forming sentences are hard because of the dementia and the stroke. Try the fidget blanket. You don't know until you try. Oh, if anyone has a copy of the manual of how to navigate along this journey, mine got lost in the mail. Could really use a copy, LOL.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:06 PM   #17
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I was re-thinking what I wrote earlier about my Mom's Parkinson's. I don't think a fidget quilt would have helped her shaking, as she just needed something to grasp. In her case, she used her purse predominately. Now I think a nice throw quilt with different textures like a patchwork quilt might have been nice. Some squares silky, some velvety, maybe some squares cut from one of my dad's old wool suits, she refused to let those go. And one can pick up silk ties at garage sales. While my mom didn't have memory loss, I think the familiar woulda/ mighta been a comfort as well.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:26 PM   #18
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I was re-thinking what I wrote earlier about my Mom's Parkinson's. I don't think a fidget quilt would have helped her shaking, as she just needed something to grasp. In her case, she used her purse predominately. Now I think a nice throw quilt with different textures like a patchwork quilt might have been nice. Some squares silky, some velvety, maybe some squares cut from one of my dad's old wool suits, she refused to let those go. And one can pick up silk ties at garage sales. While my mom didn't have memory loss, I think the familiar woulda/ mighta been a comfort as well.
I think so, too.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:51 PM   #19
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Sharing these stories of what goes right and what goes wrong is very helpful. Even what you think may have worked better in hindsight. Dementia patients are all different and they change frequently. CWS, I too wish there was a Manual.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:18 PM   #20
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Oh, PF, thought you might have gotten a copy. The manuals didn't get.
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