Dementia Sufferers Connect with SensoryCoverings
SensoryCoverings is the brainchild of gerontology occupational therapist Julie Strumpfler. She lives in Massachusetts and sews blanket coverings that are rich in texture, shape and even fragrance for people suffering from varying forms of dementia.
“I noticed that a lot of people would stroke an afghan or a sheet,” Julie said, “so I thought a lap blanket with different textures would make sense.”
Both of Julie’s parents developed dementia as they grew older, as did one of her sisters. She could tell her coverings made an impact when she gave one to her mother.
“At that time Mom had become non-verbal,” she said. “She started feeling it, and she looked up at me and said, ‘Nice.’ It was such a surprise and I knew I was on to something."
In the beginning Julie would hand cut appliques that would go onto the coverings. Then she turned to several fabric steel-rule dies from AccuQuilt but realized there were custom designs she wanted to implement. She also had to be conscious of safety.
“These blankets have to be as safe as possible,” Julie said. “People will pull and pull and, if they tear something off, their instinct is to put it in their mouth.”
Julie started having dies made with Custom Shape Pros. It was a fast and easy process she said.
“I liked how you were geared for business and that when I couldn’t find an existing die we could easily come up with a design I needed or wanted," she said. "Dies have made my work easier and better.”
Julie understands firsthand how difficult it is for a loved one to lose their cognizance. She calls her blankets a compassionate bridge that speaks to the sense and faculties that are still shooting for a sufferer of dementia. Julie says it feels like a productive gift for a child or spouse who is coming to terms with the realities of their situation.
“Once I submitted that life would never be the same as I had known it before my thirties and that my parents were changing faster than my children were growing,” Julie said, “I was able to start asking where are we today and what can we do.”
More customer success stories: Health & Beauty
North Andover, Massachusetts, USA
AccuQuilt Studio 2 Fabric Cutter
Custom Die Type
Standard Steel-Rule Die
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