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


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

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!

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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 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.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Painting: Successful or Not?

Didn't have a chance to tell about Gregory's most recent painting experience. Until the end it seemed like the session was not going to be successful.

Last time we used thin, plastic food handlers gloves and felt that perhaps they got in the way of Gregory's actually "feeling" the painting. So this time we decided to try the latex medical gloves again.

It took forever to get the latex gloves on because he would not open his hands. Clenched into tight fists, he resisted all attempts at getting him to relax.

I knew that the longer it took to actually start painting, and the more struggle we had in getting to that point, the less success we would have with the actual painting.

Katharine and I both kept calm and kept at it. Once the latex gloves were on, and once his painting shirt was on, we began.

He had a difficult time focusing. I am not sure he once spontaneously "painted" without our trying to move his hands for him. We moved the painting tray around at every angle from flat to a 90 degree angle. One was not more successful than another.

We put bright colors on the paper, announcing the color name, and trying to get him to look at the paper. Difficult. We dropped paint from the tube four or six inches above the paper, while placed in his view to see if the movement would help. Difficult.

We moved his hands around, tapped his fingers, etc to try to set him in motion and to loosen him up a bit. Difficult. He has difficulty focusing and several times when prompted, "Look at the painting," he replied "I am!" But he wasn't. Difficult.

When overwhelmed or needing to 'shut down' he has an easily recognizable posture, closing his eyes and rolling his head, shoulders, and body forward as far as they can go towards his lap. It is his way of saying "This is too much for me right now." Katharine and I backed off and let him withdraw for a while before cajoling him back.

It was time to finish up as we were close to dinner time. We asked, "Do you want to continue?" He replied, "No."

"Ok, then we will stop," we confirmed. He replied, "No." but we stopped anyway.

We had now reached the end of this painting session which had seemed unsuccessful, should I say a failure? We took off Gregory and our gloves and removed his painting shirt. I held the tray and painted paper (whose marks were more Katharine and mine,) showing Gregory and saying, "Isn't that beautiful?"

To our amazement he focused on the paper for a very long time without any coaxing. He whispered, "Oh. Oh. Beautiful. Wonderful." Several times. He looked up and down, left and right, admiring 'his work' and repeated, "Oh. Oh. Beautiful. Wonderful," in a whisper that was almost sacred.

Katharine and I looked at each other in wonder. As we were leaving I said to Katharine, and she agreed, "That last part made the whole experience worth while!"

Next week we are going to try an easel that is perpendicular to the table and use Craypas, fat Crayolas, colored pencils, and markers. Always experimenting to see how we can make the experience better for Gregory.

1 comment:

  1. Michael, thanks on Gregory's behalf for continuing to find activities that stimulate and help engage him and allow him to be an active participant in his own life. What you're doing is absolutely wonderful and great example for other caregivers around the world <3


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