By Ericha Loosbrock, marketing and admissions director
Anita Adcock, activities assistant, is always on the hunt for treasures for our residents at Evergreen Nursing Home in Alamosa, Colorado.
It is not uncommon for her to return to work on Monday with an armload of goodies from garage sales and thrift stores to help her teammates provide a wide range of activities and new experiences for our residents.
Most recently, Adcock delivered homemade pillows for therapy to use in wheelchair positioning and a new activity item designed specifically for a new resident in the memory care unit.
Adcock noticed this resident was tugging, pulling and even ripping her clothes during her sundowning episodes. She thought, “Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could make something that would help her with the fidgeting?”
So, over a weekend, Adcock decided a warm fleece vest with activities sewn directly onto the vest would be just the answer.
After 28 years working with Evergreen in different roles, including as a certified nursing assistant and restorative assistant, Adcock has learned from experience and dementia trainings that textures, sizes and mobility can help a person relax during anxious moments. She observed the resident for a few days in order to assess where and what types of sensory items would be a good fit to help calm the resident’s anxiety and help her relax. The end result was a fleece vest with 17 activity items that included pulling, sliding, rubbing and spinning types of sewing notions.
“Anita has a remarkable ability to create just the right product for each individual,” said Kara Finger, executive director. “With the fidget vest, she was able to place the exact item in a location that distracted the resident enough to keep her from destroying her clothes.”
The difference is noticeable, and we now have staff looking for more vests to help other residents.
This isn’t the first time Adcock has gifted our facility with homemade items. She also sews bags for wheelchairs to help residents keep their personal items, weighted lap blankets and weighted shoulder blankets for residents during the cold winter months and pillows to help position residents more comfortably.