Eau Claire seniors make fidget blankets for people suffering fro - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire seniors make fidget blankets for people suffering from dementia, autism


Eau Claire (WQOW) - If you have a loved one with dementia, you know the devastating impacts it can have, and sometimes, all you want to do is find them comfort. Well, that's exactly what a group of ladies are working to do.

"I was brought up, it is better to give than to receive," said Grace Willowbrook Assisted Living resident, Trudy Wik.

For Wik and a group of women receiving care at the facility, it is that giving spirit within their hearts that keeps them going on a daily basis.

"It pays to give back to other people, because they gave to you, and they need it and they can't do it," Wik said.

So, they cut to create a special, and sometimes necessary, gift for adults with dementia and kids suffering from autism.

They're called, fidget blankets, because they have a variety of items, like buttons and ribbons tied on them. They're designed to reduce anxiety for the people who need them the most. 

"It's a calming thing for them, and just a very natural thing as people get into the later stages of Alzheimer's they need something to do with their hands," said Grace Willowbrook Director, Peg Husby.

For the residents, it's a chance for fellowship.

"This is a group of people who before they moved in, always were helping in their community, in their churches, in different clubs they belonged to," Husby said. "So, it's just a natural part of what their lives are and that's giving back to others."

It keeps the residents of this facility busy as well, because as the saying goes, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop".

"Well, it's getting out with other people," resident Marion Knutson said. "There's a lot of people that just stay in their rooms or stay in their apartments and don't congregate with other people."

So, the women will continue to congregate, enhancing the lives of people they may never even meet.

The group of ladies meet every other week for other similar projects. They hope to finish 20 blankets over the course of their next few gatherings. 

If you are interested in donating supplies to their effort, you can contact Grace Willowbrook Assisted Living at (715) 835-0429.

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