Caregivers Using Art to Understand Dementia

When caregivers are stuck indoors, it’s helpful to have a creative hobby. You need something to do during snowstorms, heat waves, or periods when your loved one is confined to bed. The written word is my creative vehicle. But I admire the ways that other use their artistic skills to transform dementia into works of art that transcend their pain.

Between the Pond and the Woods

In the past I’ve written for a site called Making Sense of Alzheimer’s. It serves as a portal with links to creative projects that wring meaning from experiences related to the disease. The site recently added a video that explains the beautiful illustration work of a British artist named Ruth Blackford. Ruth’s mother, a textile designer, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999. Ruth combined some of her mother’s work with visual art concepts to create the amazing work shown in this video.

I really enjoyed listening to Ruth’s explanation of how her art helped her gain a deeper understanding of her mother’s experience of having Alzheimer’s. Her comments made me wonder about the creative projects other readers get involved in to help deal with the stresses of caregiving, or the impact the disease has on loved ones. If you have a special project going, please write in and tell us something about your work. If there’s anything you’d like to share on the Making Sense of Alzheimer’s site, send me a message here.

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