90-year-old Windsor woman spreads joy to people with dementia

Mary Gibson, 90, and her husband of 41 years, Bill, turned their hobby of crafting colorful wreaths into an activity with a greater purpose.

“The wreaths are made of plastic table cloths. We cut them into strips and then they are knotted to the rings around the wreath,” Mary’s daughter, Shelley Sanders explained.

Both were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago. The couple began creating wreaths during the pandemic after their dementia day programs were paused.

“It really helped keep them healthy and active,” said Sanders.

The family figured others with dementia could benefit from these decorative pieces.

Over the last two years, the Gibsons donated over 300 hand-crafted wreaths to the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Society.

The wreaths were used to brighten the homes of people living with dementia.

“The bright colors and the texture really provide a great stimulation,” said Peggy Winch, manager of fund development and community engagement at the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County.

Sadly, Bill passed away from cancer in April before they were able to donate this year’s batch, but his impact will be felt in hundreds of homes.

“My mom is going to carry on the tradition,” said Sanders.

“Bill is here in spirit. I guarantee it.”

Until the end of May, residents can double their support for local Alzheimer’s programs by donating through the local Alzheimer’s Society’s Matching Gift Campaign. Donations of up to $50,000 will be matched.

For more details visit alzheimer.ca/windsoressex

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