Compassus – Eastern Iowa to Offer Special Program for Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients

Tapestries program inspires life in patients while assisting loved ones in finding meaning, solace and support throughout journey

The Compassus programs serving Eastern Iowa are now offering a specialized hospice program called Tapestries for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

The goal of the Tapestries program is to create comforting experiences for patients and their loved ones, whether it’s reliving memories of the past, listening to a favorite song or sharing the joy a familiar photo may bring.

“When a loved one is in the last stages of dementia, everyone around them is affected. As the disease increasingly diminishes a patient’s memories and personality, loved ones and caregivers often feel emotionally and physically drained,” said Patricia Christy, executive director of Compassus – Eastern Iowa. “At Compassus, we discovered that with the right care, the effects of the disease can be managed and that it’s possible for the patient as well as their loved ones and caregivers to enjoy a measure of peace and the fond memories they have shared.”

The program strives to meet six major emotional needs of patients as identified by professor Thomas Kitwood, including:

1.      Occupation: Being involved in the process of life in a personally significant way.

2.     Identity: Being in touch with the past and having a story to tell to others.

3.     Comfort: Through a gentle touch, the calming of anxiety and soothing of pain or sorrow.

4.     Inclusion: By nature, we want to feel accepted as a part of a group and to have face-to-face interactions.

5.     Attachment: Feeling attached to another person provides a kind of emotional “safety net” when the world is full of uncertainty.

6.     Love: “People with dementia often show an undisguised and almost childlike yearning for love… a generous, forgiving and unconditional acceptance, a wholehearted emotional giving without any expectation or direct reward.” — Frena Gray-Davidson

For more information about Compassus – Eastern Iowa or the Tapestries program, please visit or call 319-362-2500.