Saturday, April 2, 2011

Painting in Twilight

Image via ABC Arts Online

I would like to share a very poignant video with you about art and Alzheimer's in which we are introduced to a gentleman named Lester Potts who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's as he began his 70th decade. We sometimes hear about people who become suddenly and incredibly creative as they progress through dementia. There is, in fact, a particular type of dementia called frontotemporal dementia that often leads to an astounding flood of creativity as the frontal areas of the brain decline and the rear portions of the brain retain their strength and functioning longer. In the case of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia the surge of creativity often seems to come as the individual seeks ways to continue to communicate with and understand the world around them. Just as a child will frequently draw pictures about things they cannot express in words, so it is with those who are dealing with dementia as they loose the ability to communicate using words.
"Alzheimer" by slauz via devianArt

I found it especially interesting that as Mr. Potts explored and communicated through his paintings, his son also began to explore his own creativity in an effort to deal with what was happening to his father. If your facility has a dementia support group, imagine the ways that you could incorporate creative exercises into that setting as a way to help the family members of your residents cope with the changes in their loved ones.

Via Edition CNN

The video is just under 8 minutes but please take time to watch it through, preferably in a quiet place without distractions. I know, that means probably not at work, right? I really think you will be glad you did.

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