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Fidget Aprons Benefit Residents

A project designed to help residents with dementia ended up benefiting residents throughout Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor.  

In 2016, a small group of residents were approached by staff to create items called fidget aprons for residents with dementia. The final products created by our seamstresses exceeded our expectations and lasted for several years. They attached all kinds of familiar items in fun ways, like empty thread spools or beads that slide up and down a ribbon, textured fabrics, zippers, buttons, key chains, patches, etc. The fidget ideas are endless.  

According to, “Sensory stimulation has been shown to not only bring enjoyment and fun to people living with Alzheimer’s but also to fight anxiety and depression while increasing social interaction. Sensory stimulation can also help people stay independent for longer, promote understanding and a sense of belonging as well as help people express how they are feeling.”

It was not until recently that we needed to create more and so our Executive Director Sarah Griggs sent out a request to staff, residents and families to volunteer to make aprons or lap mats and donations of material and fidget items for the aprons and mats. The response was tremendous.  

Sarah also approached one of the original seamstresses from 2016, independent living resident Wilda Buffo, to see if she was willing to create more and if she knew anyone to recruit to help. Sarah also recruited her mother’s quilt group as well. Again, a small group of ladies put their talents to work and created new aprons and mats for our residents in health care and memory care that have challenges with dementia.  

Sarah loves how the project has integrated so many people within the Presbyterian Manor community as well as the surrounding community to help those in need.  

“It is meaningful to be able to create a form of peace and comfort for our residents battling with Alzheimer’s or dementia. We want our residents to live their lives to the fullest and this is one way to make them happy and comfortable,” says Anna Robinson, director of assisted living and home health.

Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor wants to thank volunteers and donors that gave supplies and or created fidget aprons and lap mats for our residents who have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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