On Oct. 16, 2018, members of the AQ Project delivered 12 sensory lap quilts to residents on the memory care unit at Evergreen Nursing Home in Alamosa, Colorado.
This is the second year that the nonprofit organization has donated to Evergreen. AQ stands for Alzheimer’s Quilts, and members make and donate quilts to seniors with dementia as well as to blind babies and individuals with sensory perception issues. The quilts are made by hand and incorporate a variety of fabrics, from cotton to velveteen, polyester to fleece and corduroy. Many quilts include other items like zippers, pockets, strings and bows.
The different implements are designed to calm patients and give fidgety hands an outlet for exploration.
“The sensory detail is different on each quilt and allows residents to focus their energy on something positive,” said Kara Finger, executive director. “I can’t tell you how valuable these quilts are. I see residents walking around with them wrapped on their shoulders or sitting in the activity area with these gifts folded on their laps.”
Each quilt takes approximately 20 hours to piece together, and the quilters work on the project from May to October each year.
“These blankets are used every day by our residents and are very useful during transfers to outside appointments,” said Ramona Dutton, director of nursing. “As a quilter myself, I know how many hours are dedicated to making one quilt. I can't imagine how many hours this quilting group donated to make 12 quilts! Our residents and associates appreciate the work that goes into making these gifts.”
When Linda Rak, vice president of the AQ Project, brought the quilts to Evergreen Nursing Home, one resident began crying because she wanted one of the quilts but didn’t have the money to buy it. Of course, the quilts were free, and when she received the quilt, she was quite a happy camper!