Local church group donating‘Sensory Quilts' to nursing homes in Carter County
Right now more than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and according to the Alzheimer's Association that number will only increase. In Tennessee, the group estimates more than 110,000 people ages 65 and older had Alzheimer's last year. That number could be up to 140,000 by 2025.
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTableOne local church group is trying to help people in our region by making what's called, 'Sensory Quilts' or 'Fidget Blankets,' to donate to local nursing homes in Carter County. These quilts are supposed to help distract these patients and keep their minds occupied. Lois Wright was diagnosed with dementia last year, she said she feels like she's losing pieces of herself. "To think that I would be disabled, and my kids would have to take care of me," said Wright. She said one of the hardest things about having it is that it robs you of your mind. Now the volunteers at Valley Forge United Methodist Church are trying to help keep their minds busy. "It's heartbreaking, and we don't know at what point we'll get it you know," said quilt volunteer, Jeanie Johnson. They've been sewing and stitching for the last month to make more than 30 quilts, and the whole church helped by donating materials. "They just all wanted to help when we told them what it was for," said Johnson. "Most of them probably have got someone that they know that has Alzheimer's." Each blanket has various gadgets like ribbons and bells to help keep their hands busy. They'll be giving them to six nursing homes in Carter County, and Hillview Health Center is one them. Hillview's social worker, crystal baker, said around 20% of their residents struggle with some form of dementia. "Each day poses different challenges for our residents in our facility with Alzheimer's we try to keep them engaged in activities," said Baker." She said these type of quilts have been really effective in other nursing homes, and Sensory Stimulation has even helped residents sleep better. Now she's excited to see the difference it could make at Hillview. "In a way it kind of gives them purpose," said Baker. "It kind of gives them a job, and any time they can feel like they have a purpose or something to do it does help." For Lois Wright she said she can't wait to get her hands on one. "Because I'm a person who needs something to do at all times," said Wright. The group finished all the quilts on Tuesday and they are hoping to deliver them to the nursing homes next week.