Oakdale Quilters Guild, formed in May of 1996, had just a few goals in mind when the members first started the group: to learn about quilting, to teach quilting techniques, and to provide quilts for residents at Oak Valley Care Center.
Today, their objectives have broadened to include even more philanthropic endeavors. They donate quilts, pillowcases, and caps to teen moms, children at camp, chemotherapy patients, veterans, and active duty service men and women. Their work at the Oak Valley Care Center has expanded as well, to include tote bags, pillowcases, and, most recently, iPods.
The iPods are part of a music and memory study in cooperation with UC Davis. The primary goal is to target residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s and see if a reintroduction to their favorite, familiar music can improve day-to-day life and, perhaps, trigger muscle memory to allow residents to take more control of their motor skills.
Quilters Guild president Yvonne White said that Oak Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center “found it made such a big difference with the residents that they asked us if it would be possible if we could donate a couple more to help other residents and so we thought, well, we’d donate twenty.”
On Wednesday, July 5 along with donating 20 iPods, they also contributed two charging stations (USB ports) and $150 in iTunes gift cards to assist in adding more songs to the iPods as necessary.
Each iPod is individualized to fit a certain resident.
“If the resident can talk and tell us the music they like, then we’ll go off of what they say or some family members will help us out,” Activities Assistant Amber Coulston explained, “and each playlist will have around 40 songs, minimum.”
Coulston pointed out that the documentary Alive Inside gave the Care Center information about what the study would look like. Already, they’re seeing progress.
She reported “some residents have started using their hands a little bit more, picking up things, some clap, some tap along to the music. Some go from being really depressed to being really happy.”
The donation from the Quilters Guild will hopefully be the first of many, she noted.
“The Quilters Guild was so excited about it,” Coulston added, “and anybody can donate, even iTunes cards or iPods. The more the merrier.”
The Quilters Guild is currently meeting the second Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Oak Valley Hospital conference room. More information about the organization can be found at oakdalequiltersguild.org.