Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 23, 2009

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to Display Powerful Dementia-Related ‘Quilt to Remember’

NEW YORK, NY — Last August, Annie Ginzkey of Chicago and a whole bunch of relatives gathered at her aunt’s house in Bartlett, IL to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday. At the same time, they turned the event into another celebration—of her late grandfather’s life by making a heartfelt quilt panel for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Quilt to Remember.

On September 24, Annie, a 27-year-old graduate student, will present the finished quilt to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) to join more than 60 other panels at an exhibit of the AFA Quilt to Remember at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, ( West Building), 2233 South Martin L. King Drive , Chicago , from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The display is open to the public and is part of a nationwide tour. It coincides with AFA’s 4 th Annual National Concepts in Care Conference, a free educational conference for caregivers and individuals with dementia, which is also taking place tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

The AFA Quilt to Remember is the nation’s only grand-scale quilt that pays tribute to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Announced in December 2005, the creative arts initiative now has more than 130 powerful and emotional quilts in its collection—and it continues to grow as individuals and organizations craft panels.

Also presenting a panel at the exhibit will be caregivers of a dementia support group at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Ginzkey saw the quilt when AFA displayed it in Grant Park in Chicago two years ago. Among the estimated 2,000 visitors, she realized then that making a panel to memorialize her grandfather Edmound J. Arseneault would be a way to let her younger cousins learn more about him as well as celebrate his life for others to see. Arseneault of Decatur, IL died at age 69 in 1996, before even some of his seven grandchildren were born

“I thought it was awesome to see this huge quilt, to look around and see life stories,” she said.

Charged up about creating the quilt, she used the birthday gathering for her grandmother as the perfect venue to have the family pitch in for this project. Relatives brought photos and other mementos. Ginzkey picked out fabric with her grandmother. And the clan spent the night scanning photos on to fabric paper and sewing. Made of forest green, navy and burgundy, the quilt includes such mementos as a logo of the bank, Soy Capital Bank, of which Arseneault was president, and a photo of him in his Navy uniform.

“I’m really proud of it and he would be too...You get a sense of the man he was and what was important to him,” Ginzkey said.

For more information about the AFA Quilt to Remember, visit www.alzquilt.org or call 866-232-8484.

Currently, as many as 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the incidence is expected to escalate in line with the nation’s aging population. Age is the greatest risk factor for the disease, which causes loss of memory and other intellectual functions and is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with the disease and their caregivers, and unites more than 1,200 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet educational, emotional, practical and social needs. Visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-AFA-8484.

 

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484