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Quilting a legacy of love

Customer Care Manager Debi Trammell is a natural when it comes to assisting others who reach out to us in their time of need, but the tables were turned recently when the person on the other end of the line asked if she could help us.

FidgetQuilts_2Debi learned that Ellen Horan had been busy all winter sewing small fidget quilts and was interested to see if Autumn Leaves might have any use for them. Recognizing this incredible opportunity, Debi offered to send Ellen a prepaid shipping label and told her that we’d happily accept any that she would like to share.

As it turns out, Ellen Horan is all too familiar with the challenges of this disease. “My mother had dementia, and I first came upon the idea when I was caring for her. It gave her something to do with her hands.”

FidgetQuilts_4Agitation is common as the disease progresses, and often manifests in the form of wringing, busy hands in search of something to grasp. With mobility limited and fine motor skills slowly deteriorating, fidget quilts offer the perfect solution. Each square features a different textural element for the person holding it to explore with their hands. Ellen’s quilts are incredibly well-made and include things that keep the hands busy such as zippers, clasps, Velcro®, pockets, beads, and other tactile components that engage the resident in soothing, repetitive activity.

Sadly, Ellen’s mother passed away. Yet in her free time, Ellen continued quilting.  And that’s when she got the idea to pay it forward. To say that we are humbled by her generosity would be an understatement. When her package arrived this week, we were absolutely delighted to find 18 beautiful handmade fidget quilts inside. We are incredibly touched by Ellen’s kindness and look forward to delivering her beautiful quilts to our residents!

Thank you for sharing your gift with us, Ellen! You will always be a part of our Autumn Leaves family.

Pictured below from left to right: Clair Jameson (Director of Life Engagement), Debi Trammell (Customer Care Manager), Crystal Campos (Office Administrator and Receptionist)