In 2013 we made this tactile quilt (see this post for detailed photos of all the blocks) at the request of the diversional therapists at a nursing home. It is larger than a lap-quilt, and hangs on an easily accessible wall so that it is available to the residents at any time.
This Canadian article reports on the effectiveness of lap 'touch quilts' for people with dementia in hospital:
Quilting to change quality of life for those with dementia Janice Henderson, Ottawa Citizen, 1st May 2015
Touch quilts are textured lap quilts designed for those who need sensory stimulation, especially those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Straightforward to make, these charity quilts have an incredible impact on quality of life.According to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, “sensory stimulation can increase happiness, enjoyment and relaxation as well as lessen sadness and fear”. Touch quilts can provide dementia patients with sensory stimulation, reducing unwanted behaviours without requiring sedatives or physical restraints ...
We have recently completed another special commission for the same nursing home - more on that in a few weeks.