FOR GREGORY

Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.

PLEASE NOTE:


SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website: www.horvich.com


Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!


• • • • •


THIS WAS THE FINAL POST TO THIS SITE BEFORE IT WENT DORMANT.


Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.


Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.


With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.


Please follow me there by clicking http://mhorvich.blogspot.com or click the link located on the right side of this page.


Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.



Friday, January 30, 2015

Painting Class II

Today Gregory painted. For the second time at Lieberman. When I approached him early morning while he was watching TV in one of the wings, he was exited to see me. I asked, "Do you want to paint today?" He perked up even more and started babbling somewhere between "Yes indeed!" and "Wonderful!" If you were standing there you may not have heard what I did but Gregory's enthusiasm definitely came through.

We went down to the art room on the second floor and were greeted by Katharine who asked, "Do you want to paint today." Again Gregory definitely indicated that he did!

We got a paint shirt onto him (not easy) and laid out the glossy paper in the tray with the tubes of paint in a row above. Then the slow, tedious, wondering part began. Will this work? Will Gregory get involved again? Will he remember how to do this? Will he be successful at pushing the paint around? Will he have a second in a row success?

A glob of paint was squeezed onto the center of the paper but Gregory did nothing. We placed a hand onto the paper with the instruction, "OK, paint!" Nothing. Katharine moved his hand around as a way of stimulating Gregory's thinking/processing. Nothing. I took his hand and used his fingers to tap, tap, tap through the paint. Nothing.

At one point Gregory leaned forward, head down, eyes closed and sat still. Katharine and I waited. After a short while we began our encouraging again. We put his hand onto the paint and moved the hand in circles, up and down, tap tap tap. Gregory joined in a little but one could not say Gregory was painting.

It was difficult to keep Gregory's posture correct, to have him focus on the paint and paper, to help him keep his eyes open, to move his fingers and/or hands.

Katharine though that some peppy music might help so she put some Latin sounding, rhythmic music on the CD player. It did seem to help and Gregory was a little more alert and a little bit more focused.

We were aware that once Gregory's hand was in or over the glob of paint, the paint disappeared from view and most likely from awareness. We played with moving the tray closer, and further, and changed the angle. It all helped: music, tray movement, placing his hand and/or fingers in a way that he could see the paint beside it rather than covering it.

Gravity helped a little but you could tell that Gregory was getting more involved. Several times during his stopped inertia, we asked, "Do you want to paint?" and he answered either "Yes" or "I am painting."

It was interesting to see Katharine process her moves with Gregory. It was interesting to see how much effort Gregory was putting into getting his arms and hands to move and processing what he was supposed to be doing with this colorful blob of paint on this piece of white paper (Description is mine. Gregory was most likely blank but now and then something would click in.)

One move that was fun and seemed to help Gregory was Katherine taking one hand and me taking Gregory's other and in grand strokes moving his through the paint using large gross motor skills in time to the Latin rhythms. Gregory seemed to enjoy this and it facilitated his processing so he could continue briefly when we let go of his hands.

It took longer to get him started this time but we spent more time in the art room and he definitely had a good time. All three of us were pleased.


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