PORTLAND – With the numbers as high as they are, it’s very likely you know someone with Alzheimer’s or someone who is caring for a loved one who has it.
There are 76,000 patients in Oregon and 160,000 family members and nurses are taking care of them.
The slowly progressing brain disorder is devastating and sometimes comfort can be found in the smallest of things.
Virginia Henry learned that following the death of her 94-year-old mother. She watched her mother’s mind fade for 15 years.
“She was confused and withdrawn,” Virginia recalled. Her last two years were spent in bed.
It’s not how Virginia wanted to remember the woman who had raised she and her twin brother. A collection of fabric and photos would eventually become part of her healing process.
A stunning quilt put together by the staff and residents at Summerplace in Northeast Portland is a tribute to the life of Virginia’s Mother, Frances Rosenthal. Rosenthal spent eight years in the Expressions Unit at Summerplace.
“I needed to accept my mother for who she was at that moment and also remember who she had been. That’s why the quilt was so exciting because I could see who she was,” said Virginia.
The quilt for Frances is just one in a collection of 140 traveling the country with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
Some of the fabric and photo tributes were on display in Portland this week as part of a workshop on dementia for caregivers and families.
“The quilt is something you have as a family and then you’re really sharing it with so many others who are going through the same thing,” explained Christina Chartrand of Senior Helpers.
The collection called “Quilt to Remember” will visit two dozen cities this year.
Virginia Henry is proud to have her mother’s squares on display.
“It’s just as I remember her. This has really been a healing experience for our family,” she concluded.
Citation: Marshall, Cathy. “Quilts a tribute to Alzheimer’s patients.”KGW.com. King Broadcasting Company, n.d. Web. 23 Jun 2012. http://www.kgw.com/lifestyle/health/Alzheimers-quilt-a-tribute-160083965.html