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Art and Alzheimers

Ambrose B

Registered User
Jan 9, 2016
6
East Sussex
I am currently doing an MA at Brighton University and I have chosen to do a Project as part of it on Alzheimers. I am a carer of my Aunt who has Alzheimers and has had it for a number of years. Last year, after years of trying to keep her in her own home, I realized this was not in her best interest as things became very dificult for her and extremely worrying for me. I am very aware of how difficult it is for people who care for Alzheimers and I was wondering if any carers have found Art as a way of releasing the stress and strains of care and if so, what impact is has had on them? I would be very grateful for the simplest of comments about this topic. Thanking you, Ambrose B
 

Ellaroo

Registered User
Nov 16, 2015
161
Liverpool
I think it would be an excellent idea.
My mum aged 89 lives with me and has had dementia for 7 years. I struggle alot of time to keep on top of housework etc , otherwise i would do more craft things with mum.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,584
Bristol
I am currently doing an MA at Brighton University and I have chosen to do a Project as part of it on Alzheimers. I am a carer of my Aunt who has Alzheimers and has had it for a number of years. Last year, after years of trying to keep her in her own home, I realized this was not in her best interest as things became very dificult for her and extremely worrying for me. I am very aware of how difficult it is for people who care for Alzheimers and I was wondering if any carers have found Art as a way of releasing the stress and strains of care and if so, what impact is has had on them? I would be very grateful for the simplest of comments about this topic. Thanking you, Ambrose B
Morning Ambrose. OH has vascular dementia, which is slightly different to Alzheimer of course, but having a son who plays music and paints art is still important to her. We have a house full of paintings and still get out occasionally to exhibitions. She often forgets the next day what she has seen, but a little prompting and reminding brings back some of the pleasure. I am not sure if you classify music as art, but that definitely has a soothing and stimulating effect, especially when I leave OH in the house alone for an hour or two.

From a carers perspective. I just love losing myself in colours and the beauty of landscape paintings. OH son always says as a painter he has started to see colour in a muddy track and as fairly unartistic photographer I find a release from the daily grind in taking pictures as well as looking at them. OH enjoys looking at the edited highlights and talking about it stimulates something in and reconnects us.

Even thinking about it while hovering I am not sure how to express the pleasure we both get from photos and paintings in the stresses and the fog of dementia.
 
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BR_ANA

Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
1,079
Brazil
Art is important for PWD.

When I found that my mom shad dementia, I tried everything to help her. I found art classes, a good time for her and for her morning career. She did small quilts until she reached stage 6.

About the career, it can be a stress relieve, however for me it is just more stress.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,176
68
Dundee
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2001 so his dementia is now fairly far advanced. One a fortnight he attends a session called Heart for Art. People with a diagnosis of dementia are supported in their painting efforts by student volunteers from our local Art College. He responds very well to this and I think it is therapeutic for him. I have been asked if I wanted to do some art but I declined! One or two of the other carers have done so though. Having said that the sessions are really for the person with dementia. They are run by the Crossreach charity.

We both also attend a choir which is for people with dementia and their carers. A different form of art. We both get massive benefits from this.
 

Ambrose B

Registered User
Jan 9, 2016
6
East Sussex
Thank you

I have not been using the forum lately but was filled with joy to read your replies to my question around art being a support for alzheimer's sufferers and carers too. I recently did some water colours with my aunt, just simple dropping ink on wet paper and watching it explode and come to life. She loved it and so did I and it really did spark a beautiful conversation about colours and shapes and what we like. It took both of us out of the cloud of Alzheimer's and we enjoyed the moment. We both now have some beautiful pictures to look at and talk about.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,584
Bristol
That sounds like a lovely day, Ambrose. A friend suggested colouring books as that helped her mum in the early days of her vascular dementia. That wouldn't work for OH as she grew up with artists and might find it condescending, but when I come back from a walk with my arty photos of bluebells and wildflower meadows it does get a reaction and a conversation about the colours and the shapes.
 

Ambrose B

Registered User
Jan 9, 2016
6
East Sussex
That sounds like a lovely day, Ambrose. A friend suggested colouring books as that helped her mum in the early days of her vascular dementia. That wouldn't work for OH as she grew up with artists and might find it condescending, but when I come back from a walk with my arty photos of bluebells and wildflower meadows it does get a reaction and a conversation about the colours and the shapes.
That is great. Thank you for your reply. I do believe that contact with nature is really important. Since my aunt has been in a care home, which was a very difficult decision, i think the lack of direct contact with nature has really had an impact on her. It makes such a difference to her mood and well-being when I take her out to a garden centre or for a short walk in a garden and we stop to listen to the birds and feel and smwll the flowers, she is just so much calmer.