NEWS | December 9, 2019

Employees invited to receive free hand-crafted items for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the local nonprofit group Alice’s Embrace invite UC Davis Health employees to select a lap blanket or shawl as a gift for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease.

The gift of a blanket warms the body and soul. The gift of a blanket warms the body and soul.

The giveaway will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third-floor lobby of the Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) on the UC Davis Sacramento campus, 4860 Y St, Sacramento, CA 95817. 

“The gift of a blanket or shawl gives Alzheimer’s patients so much more than warmth,” said Esther Lara, Alzheimer’s Disease Center social worker. “It has a comforting and soothing effect.”

The knitted and crocheted items are available in a variety of patterns and colors. The specially-designed items use materials best suited for individuals facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s. Each is machine washable. After a patient or family member chooses their own special gift, it will have their name on the label so they know it is theirs to keep. 

The blankets are made and donated by hundreds of generous and talented people throughout the U.S., including Catherine Nacey and Missy Pham, both researchers at the UC Davis Stem Cell Program. Pham has donated 10 blankets to Alice’s Embrace.

“I’ve been knitting for 10 years,” Pham said. “I was inspired to make three blankets in honor of a coworker and friends who had family members with Alzheimer’s. I enjoy knitting and just finished two more blankets that I’ll be donating.”

This month, Alice’s Embrace donated its 5,000th item.

“We really want each person to be able to choose their own special gift,” said Diane Lewis, founder and executive director of Alice’s Embrace, an organization named after her mother. “It is very exciting to see that what we are doing is bringing so much joy to people with Alzheimer’s.” 

More information about the blankets and shawls are available on the Alice’s Embrace website.