Quilting to help memory loss

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As I was eating breakfast and getting ready to leave for the shop this morning, I had the Today Show on in the background. They mentioned something about coping with a loved ones’ memory loss. My interest was piqued, so I plopped myself down on the couch with my oatmeal and watched.

Dr. Dale Atkins, a psychologist, was on the show to discuss ways we can help, as well as ways we can do harm, while caring for and interacting with a loved one with memory loss. You can watch the video of her interview here. One of the things that Dr. Atkins said is helpful for those with memory loss is doing things that engage the mind and require concentration and sequencing because the more we use our brains, the more oxygen that is sent there.

Activities that Dr. Atkins mentioned included planning a garden as well as quilting. As soon as she mentioned quilting, I perked up. She has an excellent point. Deciding to make a quilt requires planning as well as concentration throughout the execution of the project. We have to think about the pattern we want to use or design a quilt. Then we need to concentrate on the colors we want to use and choose those fabrics. The actual process of making the quilt requires concentration and patience. It is an activity that demands our full attention, or we’ll end up with something not terribly pretty.

So next time you’re trying to come up with an activity to share with your mother, father, grandmother, brother, neighbor, or anyone else with memory loss, consider teaching them about quilting. It will be a fun activity for you to do together and it will help to keep both of your brains engaged and active.

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