Resident Spotlight: A North Woods Village Family Shares Their Story

Sally Sanders moved into North Woods Village in February 2020. I had first met Sally and her husband Ed, several years prior when they came to one of our caregiver focused educational event. During our caregiver focused events, Sally visited with our residents and attended a variety of different activities including craft-focused programs, while Ed networked with other caregivers in attendance and shared stories about their experiences with their loved ones who were struggling with different forms of dementia. Ed and Sally weren’t ready to move Sally to North Woods Village at that time, but they were able to use our events to get a well needed break and connect with others facing similar situations.

Ed and Sally married in 1960 and raised two beautiful daughters, Shelly and Sue. This year they will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Sally first started experiencing memory issues in 2008 and Ed said that it started with repeating things over and over. He then scheduled an appointment for Sally with Dr. Ron Williams and his suspicions were confirmed, Sally was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 75. Her father was also afflicted with the disease.

Since her diagnosis, Ed and Sally have been very active with the Alzheimer’s Association, and together with some friends, they formed a walk team. The last four years, their team has raised over $16,000 each year for Alzheimer’s research.

Ed took care of Sally at home for as long as he could. As Sally progressed in her Alzheimer’s journey, I noticed Ed looked very tired. He started visiting North Woods Village more and more. I kindly shared with him my observations about how tired and worn out he looked. He said Sally was waking him up more and more at night, saying things like “it’s time to get the kids ready for school” or starting to panic franticly searching for her mother.

Ed toured several places looking for the best fit for Sally as well as a community he could trust and enjoy visiting. In the end, he decided on North Woods Village as Sally’s future home. I asked him what made his final decision and he said, “Amy, every time I visited you always knew my name and you knew Sally too and that wasn’t the case everywhere I went.” He also said that he loved the layout of our neighborhoods and the courtyard. He then handed me a business card that has Sally’s Pub on it and said “Come over sometime, I make a great margarita.” I told him I would for sure take him up on that offer!

The Sanders are a terrific and loving couple. We are so honored that Sally and Ed have joined our North Woods Village family and that we are able to be a small part of their lives.