A gal I work with recently told me about these busy quilts that are being made/sold for people who have Alzheimer's. It gives them something to do with their hands, which helps them keep some muscle memory, and soothes some of their anxiety. There were a lot of benefits she shared with me. Her father has Alzheimer's and Parkinson and she was wanted to put something like this together for him for Christmas. I agreed to do it because it hit the heart strings. I lost my grandfather years ago to Alzheimer's and it was a cruel disease to say the least. I'm all about helping comfort anyone in a similar situation.
I searched some different ideas, and there are all sorts of things you can attach to keep someone busy, but I decided to start with a few ideas, and if he likes it, she can advance from there to more complicated quilts. I used some printable fabric iron on I had. I bought it as the craft store. The only trick is (for this kind at least) you have to flip the picture before printing since you iron on the mirror image.
I added some colorful buttons around the grand kids so that he can run his hands along the buttons. I then sewed this square to another piece of fabric with soft bumps (minky).
I added some ribbon to one side of another textured fabric, and then found a forth fabric with some ridges. I sewed those two pieces together, then sewed both sides, trying to make them as close to center as possible. My goal was to use scraps I had, and keep it as masculine as possible.
I added brown tweed to the back, then used some fabric I had left over from a quilt binding to bind this small lap blanket. I did take some string and stitch one tie in the middle to keep it from slipping around. All in all I'm pleased with how it turned out, AND what a fun way to repurpose some scraps!