URBANDALE, Iowa -- Many veterans with dementia or Alzheimer's disease suffer from anxiety and insomnia and are uncomfortable sitting still. That's why a local organization decided to start a project to help keep their hands busy.
The local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution was looking for another way for members with mobility issues to give back to veterans when someone suggested making fidget blankets. Though this started off as a project for those who couldn’t do more active projects, a member from the DAR’s Veterans Committee, Stephanie Caffrey, said the support from all members has been overflowing.
“It was overwhelming. They got behind this project with enthusiasm, we've already made, delivered 11 blankets to the hospital since September and we have four more here and a lot in the works,” Caffrey said.
Fidget blankets are lap quilts that provide sensory and tactile stimulation for restless hands. These blankets are made with different textures of fabric, buttons, zippers and any other object safe to fiddle with.
The DAR has been giving out free blanket kits to members to make and donate to the local veteran’s hospital. This project is called the Mildred and Edith Project: More Than Me. It's named after two DAR members' mothers who suffered from Alzheimer's and dementia. One member says this project is personal for many in DAR members due to loved ones who’ve suffered from these diseases.
“My mother in law, and my mother both suffered from Alzheimer's. And so it really brought it home to me because I watched them need things like this and so to provide it for someone else was really special to me,” DAR member, Sharon Payne said.
Little did the Daughters of the American Revolution know so many other people would see the need for their product as well.
“We've seen interest that they've asked, 'Oh would you please make one for my mother or for my father,'” Payne said. “I know several of the people who have done that and so it's really nice to not only to help the veterans but other people that suffer from that terrible disease.”
To learn more about receiving a kit or how to donate supplies visit this link.