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Quilts Show Alzheimer's Patients Appreciation for Study Participation


Quilters have long known that a quilt is a loving homage that bonds quilters with recipients across time, across generations and across vast distances. A quilt has a unique nurturing effect that comforts and soothes the soul. The warmth of a quilt and its patterns frequently suggest a simpler time that resonates with Alzheimer’s patients.

Since January of 2010 the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) has been giving newly-made quilts to patients enrolled in Alzheimer’s studies affiliated with the ADCS throughout the United States. The quilts have been made by countless, selfless quilters throughout the country. Many of the quilters have or had family members with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Others simply want to do good or find a loving home for their cherished work of art. When quilts arrive at the ADCS they are often accompanied by letters detailing memories and stories of why people have chosen to make and donate a quilt to the project. Just as touching are the stories from the research sites of how grateful study participants are who receive the hand-made quilts.

If you are interested in donating a new, lap-sized quilt it should be approximately 45-50 inches wide and 50 to 55 inches long, and made of 100% cotton or flannel. A little larger or a little smaller is fine. You can use any design or pattern. The study participants are both men and women therefore a variety of colors work best. Or you can make a “themed” quilt specifically for a woman or a man. We’ve received very feminine pink and flowery quilts that the women adore as well as quilts featuring trucks, cars, golfing, and plaids that appeal to the men. There is no deadline. Whenever you can make and send a quilt will be fine. Some quilters have put a label on the back with their name and city. Other labels thank the recipient for participating in AD research. But labels are optional; they are neither necessary nor required.

We receive the quilts here at our office and distribute them to our research study sites located throughout the U.S. when they notify us of newly enrolled participants. We acknowledge the receipt of all quilts. Should you decide to make one or more for our study participants, in advance, thank you from the depths of our hearts.

Please mail the quilts to the following address:

Jeffree Itrich, M.S.W., M.J.
Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study
University of California San Diego
8950 Villa La Jolla Dr, Ste C-227
La Jolla, CA 92037-1712

For more information email adcs-quilts@ucsd.edu or call us at 858-246-1317