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I have now been working on my sewing business for 2 years.  I have made great strides, but there are always some... obstructions that come along the way.  Not all of the obstructions are bad, and I must say some are blessings in disguise.  The usual problems are of the car, losing a job, moving, and then there are those that are not a problem, just part of life. My 86 year old mother has been living with me for ten months now.  My husband was working 200 miles away.  So, he left his job and now we are both taking care of my mom.  She has dementia and needs 24 hour care.  I have become closer to her, and we have a great relationship, but her dementia is somewhat a challenge.  She loves to fold and refold my fabric, which is OK, but she does forget where she puts it.  I give her some clothes to rip seams, not customers clothes but some I was going to donate.  So if she rips a h***, no big deal.  Is there anyone else out there that has the same sort of situation?  I have two businesses and taking care of my mom.  It would be great to connect with others that are in the same situation.



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Comment by Patricia George-Lezama on August 30, 2012 at 8:02pm

Carolina, what got me through my mom's dementia was my husband telling me, when you were at that stage in life (toddler) she took care of you.  Sometimes it is difficult and I think the difficulty lies in seeing someone who was full of life, was there for you in your sad moments, just dwindle away before your eyes.  There is something about people with dementia and folding.  I would sit with her on the floor for hours while she would go through her cupboards, she would fold and pack, remove the same thing and refold and pack as if she never did touch it.  But you know what I sat with her and I always found a way to make it fun.  I wish she were here now cuz I have a ton load of wash to fold and I knew she would have done a great job.  

Find a way to make whatever it is you are doing with her fun and let her laugh.  It takes the pain away.  She wouldn't remember but you would have that memory.  If she wants to sew ensure you have small projects that she can still help with and not have accidents.  Remember please to tell her you love her it still goes a long way.

I used to sing with my mom as she loved singing. Just before she died I purposely spent a week with her and we sang and sang and sang.  She was overjoyed.

Comment by Carolina G's Sew Exceptional on August 18, 2012 at 1:14pm

I thank everyone for your comments.  I now know I am not the only one out there that is dealing with this and trying to sew :-)  Sometimes I have to laugh when my mom does something like, spill her coffee or break a dish, and then looks around to see who has done it!  I laugh only because it keeps me from crying.  At least now she lets me make her clothes. She has picked out a "jacket" she wants.  She will pick out the fabric and then ask me who would pick out such an ugly fabric.  I smile and tell her I did, and I bought it for you.  Then she smiles and tells me it is not so bad.

Again, thank you for your responses, it has helped my day get a little brighter.  Sewing is what keeps me sane :-) I wish each of you a great day and many happy sewing hours!

Comment by Sharon Pemberton on August 18, 2012 at 10:09am

Last summer my mother who is 73 with dementia stayed with me and my husband.  It was not a great experience, possibly because our relationship pre dementia was not a great one.  She was very ornery to say the least and felt that my grandchildren were always in the way.  I cared for her full time and I did not get to sew very much at all, but like everyone else has stated she enjoyed folding clothes.  I wish I could say that she could come back next summer, but my sister tells me that her symptoms have gotten worse.  Would I do it again, yes, even with the same outcome, because she is my mother and in spite of all that has happened I love and respect her greatly.

Comment by Arlene L on August 18, 2012 at 7:32am

Wow!  You are a brave woman!  

My dad has lived with my husband and me for nearly 5 years; his is 91 and has "probable" Alzheimer's disease.  My job, besides caring for Dad is caring for children, my grandson and a friend's child(ren).  It has become difficult for me to sew because my sewing room is not somewhere my dad looks when he cannot find me (leaving him a note to tell him where I am no longer works).  I move my sewing machine to the dining room table, but then it has to be moved frequently and my current project is lined bedroom curtains.  It takes a lot to move all of this 3-4 times a day, not to mention stopping whenever Dad needs/wants something or even just to check on him.

I remember the time Dad was helping me with laundry and I gave him some hanging clothes to bring in from outside and he was so happy to help.  I got inside and the clothes were not in his closet, my closet, or my husband's closet and, of course, he could not remember where he put them.  After some mind bending exercises I checked the front hall closet and "JACKPOT".  My only point is that these were on hangers and he still knew to "hang" them, folded fabric leaves you with endless locations to hunt!

My best to you!  It's a tough job, but one that I believe is worth it!  Also, if you haven't already discovered the Alzheimer's Reading Room, check them out at  It's a blog for all of us interested in and/or dealing with dementia, especially Alzheimer's type dementia.

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