My dad has advanced dementia. He lives in a group home in Arizona where the caregivers give him lots of attention. They say he's very tactile, and I know he spends a lot of time folding and unfolding the corners on newspapers or rolling up a placemat.
Recently a friend at guild showed an Alzheimer's "Fidget Quilt." She described it as "30 Minutes of Calm" and mentioned that these are appreciated by dementia patients and their caregivers at a nursing home near here.
I've also heard something like this called a touch mat or a texture mat. The purpose is for dementia patients to have something to keep their hands occupied. It has to be sturdy and washable. I made a Fidget Quilt for my dad.
Fidget Quilt or Touch Mat
It's a slightly smaller than a hand towel; I used a towel for the back so the terry cloth would provide more texture, so the mat wouldn't slip off dad's lap, and so the caregiver can use it to wipe a spill if necessary.
All of the elements are washable so they can throw this in the washer with dad's other laundry. I hope these elements give him something for his hands to fidget with.
Webbing & Slider
Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.