Dementia and Hobbies

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
0
Co Durham
I find it amazing at times when I see people like myself with dementia who carry on with their hobbies and sometimes start new ones to see if they can master it. I also admire them for this.

Since being diagnosed I have started using a digital cameras which I carry with me on my walks, and it amazing how I have taken to it after using a Canon SLR film camera which had zoom and wide angle lens all in a bag.

I had to stop using the film camera because I had problems loading the film at times, so the digital camera saves a lot of stress. When I get home I then load them onto my lap top, where I have my own photo album.

I also took up painting again after my diagnosis, and although this is just basic I get a lot of enjoyment from it once I can get started.

I did start to go to classes, but I found that the teacher was not really interested in novices, and all he wanted to do was give everyone a copy of a certain picture and ask them to copy it.

This worked well until my last day when he produced a copy of something resembling the "Scream", which looks rather frightening to start with.

Apparently the original was done by someone who had some form of mental problem, but no one seems to know what it was. However after struggling through this piece of work for around half an hour, the teacher came back and took my picture away and started to show it off around the class, which I found a bit disturbing.

What he then said was, this was one of the best copies he had ever seen which I found embarrassing.

I did not dare to explain that I had dementia, as no one in the class knew at that time.

Some time later a lady came up to me and asked why I had stopped going to this class, and I admitted that I had problems with art as I am just a novice.

She then said that after being told that I had dementia from someone else, she wished that she has spoken to me and made me feel at home.
She also said that the last piece of work I had done made everyone think that I had been an quite proficient as an artist and not a novice, but she also said that people with dementia actually produce work that sums up what they actually think, without trying too hard.

I have since learnt that many people with dementia take up art as a form of relaxation, and many prove to be excellent at it.

After this I do wonder how many other people with this illness start a new hobby and enjoy it as I did, (Apart from the Scream which went straight in the dust bin when I got home as it scared me to death).

Best Wishes

Ken
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
9,843
0
leicester
Ken

the scream is enough to put anyone off.
The original is fantastic, but it is a one off, why would anyone need to copy it.. Nightmare stuff..

Me I'm a Lowery fan, some of the matchstick stuff, but his other work is brilliant..
So don't stop being an artist.. Just be your own judge of what to depict.
Then can you photograph it and share it with us..
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
0
Hello Ken

I do wonder how many other people with this illness start a new hobby and enjoy it as I did,

My husband, Alan, has discovered that he enjoys painting. He is very meticulous when he is painting. He takes it very seriously and it enables him to feel good about himself. He would have never done this pre-dementia. Alan would not be able to do free-hand painting so to speak but rather painting pre-drawn pictures. Today I went out and bought some albums in order to store all the pictures he has done.

Alan also enjoys gardening and walking. I think he would still enjoy fishing if someone gave him the opportunity. He likes playing his guitar, harmonica and some music.

In order for Alan to do most of the above,he needs help and attention. It's the little things like noticing when he is not sure about which colour is needed. Very occasionally he will be self-motivated.

Love and best wishes
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
0
SW Scotland
Hi Ken

John also loved painting. He was an architect, so was good at design, but had never painted until his retirement.

He painted some beautiful watercoulours, and continued until quite fsr on in his illness. I can trace the development by the deterioration in his paintings, which became increasingly childlike.

When he could no longer paint, he enjoyed colouring in mamdalas, and other geometric patterns. Some of his work is beautiful.

Since his inferction, he can't do anything, and that's so hard for us both.

It's a pity you didn't continue with your painting, Ken, when you enjoyed it so much. I agree with you about the Scream, though, it's very scary.

Love to you both,
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,097
0
Costa Blanca Spain
My Ken worked full time as an Art Director in a large Advertising Agency until his late 40's. From then on he painted and had commissions, private exhibitions etc for a number of years. I worked full time to maintain a steady income for us both.

Apart from his paintings, my Ken had no hobbies or other interests although I did try to encourage him into various things. None were longer lasting than a couple of weeks but I'm sure they would have helped him. Use it or lose it, I suppose.

It is five years now since he was last able to paint and only now when he is not able to use this God given talent, do I appreciate how good his paintings were!

The walls in our home are full of Ken's paintings and give me so many happy memories.

Can you scan any of your pics into the computer and let us have a look at them Ken? We could definately have our own 'Art Appreciation' in the Community section of the site. I would love that.

Keep up the hobbies Ken, they make anyone a more rounded, grounded person I'm sure. I have taken up a lot of volunteer work connected to health issues and I know this help to keep both my mind and spirit in better health.

xxTinaT
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
0
Co Durham
I have not done any painting for a while, as my son is using our spare room and I have been spending time trying to get used to my digital camera. However I intend to start again as my son is moving out into a flat so I can use the spare room.

I had promised to paint a picture of the church my daughter got married in, and hope to do that soon, all being well.

I have already drawn our own church, but it took some time as I find it hard to draw straight lines without a ruler at at times. Now I have to find the right day to paint it, without making a mess of it.

But it is nice to hear that other people still hang on to their hobbies as long as they can. It seems that many people take this up as a hobby when they are diagnosed as they find it relaxing, which is interesting.

I do not like art classes, as everyone tries to rush, and with this illness I need time to take in what I am doing before I start, so by the time I am ready, everyone else has finished.

I did hear of an art class at our local carers association, but Janice was told that I could not go because I was not a carer.

That's life.

Ken
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
0
Co Durham
Hello Again

We have just bought a mini Greenhouse today, as I have started to grow vegetables in our back garden, and I am now enjoying myself outside which is lovely.
We used to have a very large back garden in the house we had at oxford, along with an allotment, and I found that a lovely way to relax, away from work even though I had a pager and was on call 24 hours a day.

I lost interest it gardening when I was diagnosed, but now I feel more relaxed, when I am outside, especially when the sun is shining, as it is these days.

I think a lot of this is being able to see things grow in front of your eyes and it makes it all worth while, and I do think that home grown vegetables taste better than shop ones, but perhaps I am biased.

Still it keeps me out of the bosses way(Janice) while I am at home.

Ken
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
0
Co Durham
Hi again

I have managed to plant some potatoes and some lettuce but now she who must be obeyed has brought in some packets of seed for carrots, beetroot, radish and spring onions.

I did not dare to look any further. Perhaps she is going to move me out into the garden next? Bless her that's only a joke, I am sure that she has seized the moment and as I am so happy out there I can not blame her.

Ken
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
0
Birmingham Hades
Hi Ken
it's good fun planting these different things and wondering what will come up!!
I planted some parsley,chives and some others,all planted out of season!!
They all came up,makes life interesting.
Best wishes
Norman
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
0
There is a gardening group in the community. Your joint experiences would be valued.:)
 

Norrms

Registered User
Feb 19, 2009
5,631
0
Torquay Devon
hiya ken, good to see you found the gardening group. Keep up with your painting, i have written childrens stories and stories of lifes expieriences for years now and every now and again i try to write sometjing new. I always will as long as i am able, i love writing stories, it hepls with my wild imagination, or its just that ive never rally grown up as my wife says !!LOL
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
0
Co Durham
Hi Norrms

That sounds very interesting writing about your experiences like that, I started writing my life story and that is all I have written. However the painting is not going too well at the present, but I have always got the garden so I am not too bothered at the moment as I am starting to enjoy that again.
As I have been in London for three days I am looking forward to loosing myself in the garden again.

Ken
 

christine_batch

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
3,387
0
Buckinghamshire
Hobbies in different forms

Peter loved his garden. We have three greenhouses in our garden.

One was for overwintering all the geraniums, fuchias. He would always be taking cutting.

Real country garden. When Peter had a Carer come in to be with him and gardening was to be done that day.

I went out for a hour's break and when I got back, they both had shears in there hands and had cut back clematis, roses, pulled out all the new shoots and left all the $$$$$$ weeds.

They were quite pleased with their work. I did not show how angry I was but when the Carer told me AFTER she knew nothing about gardening.

Now I have always taken a pride in my garden tools. On another occassion Peter wanted to do some painting (he was a painter/decorator) for 29 years. Fine with that so I though and I went off to my Doctor's appointment.

When I got back, Peter had painted all the garden tools in different colour he had in his paint cupboard.

After those incidents, I planned outing for the two of them to go to, really to save my garden, house and my sanity.

Christine
 

MBrooky

Registered User
Mar 15, 2022
18
0
It could be worse! I wet to stay with my Auntie Rose when I was 5 yoa, my Mother phoned after her operation and I ran downstairs to speak to her, unfortunately I left the tap running in the sink in my excitement and by the time I went to go back up stairs the water had already run down the stairs and into the carpet in the hall. Funny they never invited me again!
 

Boneking

Registered User
Nov 11, 2022
12
0
I have always wanted to learn ballroom dancing so after the new year my wife and I found a local dance teacher and decided to sign up. It can be a bit challenging but we are on our tenth and final week this week and we are holding our own with the others and having fun. My wife is my support group and has been vey patient and understanding and admires me for taking the challenge. Take care you all