Felting with an Alzheimer group

This article is based on two e-mails that I got from Linda Mosmann from Germany. I think it is very interesting to hear about how Linda works with this Alzheimer group and Linda has allowed me to use her story.

About Linda Mosmann´s work with Alzheimer pensioners

First e-mail: 

Possibly I may allow myself to take a bit more of your time and tell you that I am also giving a little course since some weeks on Friday mornings, to 5 women and 2 men, all around or over 80 and suffering from Alzheimer or mental disorders. (i am a retired nurse and work with them at a day care center). I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it is to experience THEIR joy and concentration when felting! Of course the “results” are not or not yet “something to write home about”! But that is not at all the point. I believe that THIS way of calling up their abilities to “see” and to remember when making a snowman or dwarf or fairy out of “nothing” is much more helpful in sustaining what they might still have – and gives a quality to their lives which is not to be experienced by “memory training”. And the feel of the wool and the colors – famous! Art is Healing!

Next e-mail:

Of course you may tell people about my felting with my Alzheimer group! Possibly you may have another care giver sometime in one of your courses and she or he may like to try it with some patients, too. Till now we have made the heads with only a hint of facial features by making just an indentation with the needle, sometimes also using a bit of colored wool, and I am not sure if I will be able to show them how to sculpture the faces as this might be too difficult for them. But a combination of wrapping and felting for the figures has proven possible and they have been concentrated and happy while doing so and very pleased when they have completed something and can stand back and look at it. (as we all are!)

Yesterday we made little flying fairies for the ” 4 seasons table”, a large window sill before big windows, in our group’s dining room. This is the first time i attempted with them to make figures that entail a pipe cleaner (just for the arms) and it went amazingly well. So next Friday, when we will finish them, they will be “flying” over the “women on the way to a spring dance” that we made during 3 sittings and which are placed on that window sill for all to enjoy since 2 weeks now. The little “snow dwarves” have gone away till next winter…


  1. Sussi Goff says

    I also work with Alzheimers patients in an adult daycare setting. Although I have had fleeting thoughts on needle felting with them, I ultimately nix the idea for worry of drawing blood! Here in the US, I don’t believe that it would be wise to even try. Did you find that your students had trouble with poking themselves with the felting needles? My most successful felting project with them was making felted soap. I’ve done the project twice, perfecting the process for a more successful outcome. The bonus was having really clean fingernails when we were done! ( I did end up needling in a few stray ends ) Finding creative activities that doesn’t make them feel like they’re in kindergarten is so worth it!

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