We all have gifts to offer in the form of services that can help make life better for someone else. For Sarah Barak, that gift is often shared in the form of sewing and quilting. Barak recently shared her gift with the residents of The Legacy Willow Bend in Plano. Barak, along with members of the Frontier Girls scout group that she co-leads and Quest Boys troop, donated handmade fidget quilts for residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The scouts sang for The Legacy Willow Bend residents in celebration of Purim (a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of their people from Haman, a man planning to kill all Jewish people), an annual tradition. Barak thought the event would be a perfect opportunity to deliver the quilts.

Frontier Girls and Quest Boys

“I had read an article about fidget quilts and how beneficial they are for those with memory loss, and I knew I wanted to make something similar,” said Barak. “My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and for me, this was a very personal project. I wanted to provide the residents with something that I wish I could have given my grandmother. I was very young at the time, and there wasn’t much that I could do to help my grandmother. It was difficult knowing that she couldn’t remember me, and I remember not knowing how I needed to react. It is rewarding to assist seniors like my grandmother, and I enjoy making a difference in their lives.”

The Legacy Willow Bend resident Ada Lynn

Fidget quilts are especially beneficial for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia because they give them something to rub, tug and touch which helps soothe nerves, reduce agitation and occupy their hands. To ensure that they are easy to carry and accessible, they are made small enough to fit in one’s lap. The blankets look like small quilts, with lots of color and a multitude of different fabrics and materials. Additionally, many of the quilts have different pieces of fabric tied on or various textured items, such as fabric flowers, buttons, zippers, ribbons and pockets. These materials increase engagement and enable the owner of the quilt to remain active and have something to do at any time.

“We are honored that Sarah thought of our community when she decided to donate the fidget quilts,” said Marilyn Israel, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “She has used her talents to enrich the lives of the residents, and her kindness and generosity mean a lot to us. The residents especially benefited from receiving the quilts while hearing the Frontier and Quest scouts sing during the Purim celebration.”

The Legacy Willow Bend

 The Legacy Willow Bend, Plano’s first and only life care retirement community, is situated on a 28-acre site at Spring Creek Parkway between Preston Road and Ohio Drive. The Legacy Willow Bend offers resort-style services and amenities for active, independent seniors, as well as all levels of health care services on-site. The community features 103 independent living apartment homes, 12 custom independent living villas, 40 assisted living apartment homes, 18 memory support suites, and 60 private skilled healthcare suites.

The Legacy Willow Bend is a 501(c)3 nonprofit retirement community owned by parent company, The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. The Legacy Willow Bend, the only Jewish-sponsored life care retirement community in Texas, is open to people of all faiths. For information, call 972.468.6208, or visit the legacyWB.org.

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