The Alzheimer’s Activity Apron

The benefits of sensory stimulation for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease cannot be underestimated. Studies have shown that keeping someone with dementia active and engaged promotes a sense of self worth and can even keep that person independent longer. Learn more about sensory stimulation and how you can make your own activity apron for a loved one.The Alzheimer's Activity Apron

Benefits of Sensory Stimulation for People with Alzheimer’s

Sensory stimulation was developed in Europe in the 1960s and uses everyday objects to engage one or more of the five senses. It provides a way for people living with Alzheimer’s to explore a new environment in a safe way or see a familiar environment in a new way.

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.

Depending on the progression of dementia there are a number of sensory activities caregivers can do with their loved one. They include:

  • Gardening
  • Walking or hiking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Knitting
  • Painting
  • Woodwork
  • Puzzles and games
  • Cards
  • Music
  • Memory boxes
  • Fidget aprons

The Fidget Apron: A Unique Sensory Activity

One unique way to provide sensory stimulation for all stages of dementia is the fidget apron, a creative and unique idea that can engage and stimulate people living with Alzheimer’s.

The idea came to Kristy who runs Hopeful Threads, a sewing business dedicated to provide sewed donations to people who need it most, from one of her blog readers who had been personally affected by dementia. She explained how a fidget apron utilized sensory stimulation and could help someone fighting a disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Kristy organized her readers to create their own fidget aprons and then donated the created aprons to people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in her local area.

To make your own activity apron you will need:

  • 1.5 yards of cotton woven fabric
  • 7″ zipper and scrap fabrics
  • Ribbon
  • Trim
  • Key Rings
  • Buttons
  • Beads
  • Apron Sewing Pattern

While each fidget apron is different, the general idea is that a person can put the apron on and have a variety of activities, trinkets and charms within their reach. Some fidget aprons include zippers, braids, different textures and patterns and all are designed to engage the minds and fingers of someone living with Alzheimer’s.

Have you made an activity apron? If so, tell us about it! Did your loved one enjoy it? What types of fabrics, trinkets, and material did you use? 

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Julia

    Is there a picture of what one might look like when completed?

  • Ann
    • caitlinburm

      Thank you for sharing, Ann! What a beautiful apron.

  • Theresa Yanni

    I make activity aprons – It is hard to find good sensor items that are also safe and machine washable. I also add plush animals and other items in the pockets.

  • Dolores Rufenacht

    This is a very good idea for hot only those with dementia but also younger people who have sever autism, cognitive and developmental delays, etc.

  • Maggi Grace

    Making one for my mom. Using garters, snaps from a cuff of one of my fathers Western shirts, graduation tassels sewn inside a pocket, braided strips, button faces, etc. fun to keep adding.

  • Melanie Florence Oliver

    I made one to sell as I live at home and take care of mom. Was lucky to find an old floral tablecloth that was just perfect. Feedback would be appreciated. I try and use bright colours as many LO’s are visually impaired and bright colours are known to effect mood. While I ask family members what their LO’s favourite colours are, few are dull and all are padded for comfort. I design Alzheimer fidget blankets or quilts for those with low vision, macular degeneration and other visual issues. Best colours to use are reds, oranges and yellows, so some of them look overly bright to us, but are perfect. I also use padded decals like hearts to help the LO feel their way around the mat. I love doing them, but the best is getting a pic of someone’s LO using it. I offer customers a choice of a small soft toy, or Rosemary scented sachet. I love custom orders, so have made fishing mats for keen fisherman. Recently did a Velcro felt robot with racing track mat on one side and a lot of stuff on the other. My first XL double-sided blanket. I always ask for donations of old jeans and materials as there is just no money to buy. Will go better when I sell worldwide, although I have sent to the USA and Canada already. God bless. ( Mel, African Alzheimer Fidget Products.

  • Hi there

    Hi there

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