Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sewing for others - Alzheimer sufferers

Are you feeling the effects of the February blahs? Do you find yourself not settling on finishing up one project? Are you constantly looking to begin yet another project? Do you want the satisfaction of making something quickly, something small enough to give you pleasure in a finished item?
Then why not make an activity mat for a person suffering with Alzheimer's?

Sounds like a commercial - I know. But the thoughts are genuine.

Yesterday I was watching Sewing with Nancy. In the last part of her show, Nancy interviewed a lady by the name of Marcia. She makes Alzheimer Activity Mats. I had never heard of these. My mother spent her final years in a long term care facility (she did not have Alzheimer's) and I knew that there was a floor or area specifically for Alzheimer residents. One lady who was around a lot seemed quite young - my age or younger and her symptoms were only noticeable if you spent time with her. An acquaintance that I worked with had a mother who had Alzheimer's and she was a wanderer. Her mother managed to get off a locked floor on a couple of occasions and even made it out onto the street. Anyway, these activity mats keep the person's hands active and may even help to relieve stress. I thought it was a wonderful idea and so here's the link.

This is what they look like. I took this photo off Marcia's blog without her permission. The link to the instructions will show you other interpretations of this activity mat.

I think, as all sewers, we have accumulated a lot of notions and odds and ends of different things that could be used on an activity mat. I can finally use up the ric rac that I dislike, the tons of buttons that came from my own stash, my mother's and a friend's, the reams of ribbons that are hanging around in various places and the zippers that I kept buying because they were on sale and, at the time, I was sewing children's clothes and my own. Bright fabrics, different textures and various items that can be taken out or sewn/linked/attached to the mat. What fun it would be to design your own mat using items that you have in your own stash. Each one can be so very different.

Also on Marcia's blog are instructions for making Texture Books.

Why not have fun sewing for others? Quite a lot of us already do things for various charities (sewing, knitting, crocheting) and I wanted you all to have a variety of options. These activity mats are not big. So, if you want to make something that is roughly the same size as a cat or dog mat for shelters, this will help you to use up a lot more 'stuff' from your sewing room.
It's a win win situation.

Happy sewing, knitting or crocheting.


  1. Great idea! Now if I ever get back to my sewing and take up those half-finished projects. A great way to tidy up odds and ends.

    Just a side thought - have you ever heard of recyclers of fabric scraps, both new and cut from old clothes?

    1. I need to find some quilters around here to share my scraps with! I've sometimes given little pieces to the grandgirls who like to sew little things, even to decorate their playhouse. (Thanks for the email.)

  2. These ideas for Alzheimer patients are such a wonderful idea.
    February blahs/blues? Oh you bet! Added to it b are the joy of being chronically ill with what is now going to be called: SEID and FMS, my limited pain & energy being sucked into shoveling...and you got it pegged. LOL
    I really do enjoy reading and reviewing your posts.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Cheers from Oshawa, Ontario.

  3. Our guild is making fidget quilts for Alzheimer patients this month. There were kits at our last meeting. I did not take one because I have so much textured fabric. I thought I would make one with that. But so far I have not had enough time. I will do it though. I think these things are a great idea.

  4. This sounds like a good idea. I have made tactile books for babies and for children with special needs. There are many safety issues to think about in baby books.

  5. That looks like an amazing idea.

  6. That is a GREAT idea - thank you Dolores!!!

  7. Fantastic! Warm greetings from Montreal, Quebec. :)

  8. One of my friends made cushions with those same ideas, another made aprons with pockets, zips, a soft small pull out toy that was attached ( they are so easily lost) and both had texture fabrics, velvet, fluffy, satin, a wonderful idea and they are so appreciated by all.


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts.