It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 5
MaryeM HB User
artist lacks creative incentive

As a family we are trying to help a relative who has early stages of Altzheimers ..... he has always been very creative. He used to write poems and paint in oils. He now does very little in the way of activity and leans towards getting very disheartened. Any ideas on how we can help him return to some form of creativity. We feel this would help him enormously but are at a loss as to how to help him.

 
Old 01-10-2009, 11:47 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oak Hill, VA
Posts: 3,508
ibake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB User
Re: artist lacks creative insentive

Hi and welcome to our little corner of Planet Alzheimer. I'm sorry that you had to come searching for us, but pleased that you found us.

Do you know what stage your relative is in as far as his dementia? Has he be psotivly diagnosed? There are some things that you really need to do right off the bat. First whoever is his caregiver needs to have both dorable power of attorney and medical power of attorney, plus they need to make sure that they are on all of the bank accounts. This is a protective measure so that when your relative gets to the point where he is no longer able to care for himself, someone has the power to make decisions for him.

As far as his lack of interest in creative activities. That is often one of the first things that leave dementia patients. Unfotunately there isn't much that you can do for him. When that link breaks in his brain, there is no way to restore the synopses. Creativity goes quickly. My mother used to be an avid crocheter. I tried several different times to get her to go back to it with no luck..except for her to tell me that what I was doing was crooked!

You could try to see if he is interested in reading poetry-can he still read? You dind't say.How about trying some poetry on tapes and see if he is interested in listening to those. Does he attend a center? Or is he at home? If he is at a center they might be able to help him try to paint again.

Also have you had him into his doctor and asked about him being depressed? Many dementia patients suffer from depression. After all, it is fairly awful knowing that you are going to lose your very way of thinking. Your relative might benefit from a mild antidepressant. It would help with the down in the dumps feeling that he experiences. If he doesn't have a good doctor that is up on dementia, I would find one for him.

Have you taken him out to art galleries? Or does going out bother him? No knowing how bad he is it is difficult to suggest things. If he is at the point where he can't go out, how about big books with pictures of oil painting that you can look at with him. Unfortunately there isn't too much that is going to bring much joy in his life right now.

I'm sure that others will join in and post. But I wanted to welcome you and start you off. Please make sure that you read the stickies at the top of the board. They have some good ideas. And read through the posts. They are full of facts and suggestions. And don't be afraid to ask questions. We have all had a go at this. I lost my mother a year ago to this horrid disease. I lost my father 5 weeks before my Mom to an anuerism, but Daddy also had vascular dementia,so I'm familar with that also. So once again, welcome...

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-10-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Martha H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middlebury, IN
Posts: 4,695
Martha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB User
Re: artist lacks creative insentive

I, too, think that the ability to create something new is one of the first things to go; these patients are using up every reserve just to recall what they already knew and once did.

In her middle stages of Dementia my Mom suddenly got interested in writing ''poetry". She would put down a few coherent words and then it deteriorated into incomprehensible syllables. I always looked at these 'poems' and said, 'that's great; I never knew you could do this'. But it was not poetry.

This disease is a disaster for the victim and perhaps more so for his family. The person you knew will gradually disappear. But in my Mom's case her basic personality survived, easy going, positive, loving, and accepting.

I wish you luck on this hard path.

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 01-10-2009 at 03:06 PM.

 
Old 01-10-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
Posts: 7,105
Gabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB User
Re: artist lacks creative incentive

I agree that the creativity is one of the first abilities to leave. My Mom made beautiful hand work. I have amazing quilts that she made, cross stitching, french hand sewing, smocking, anything she could do with her hands. One of her last projects was making porcelain doll. She poured the molds, cleaned them, had them fired, and then dressed them. The ones she completed were amazing. Then she just stopped and the last 20 dolls she made still stand in the back bedroom closet with no clothes. When she stopped cross stitching she said it was her eyes. She had corrective surgery and now has better than 20/20 vision but she has not picked up that needle again. The last quilt patter I bought her material for is now at my house still in pieces. I had to hem pants and sew on a button for her recently. She had an excuse for everything she didn't complete but in reality she was unable to do it any longer. One day I will make that last quilt for her and dress those dolls. I will not do it as well as she would have but I will do it.

I have been where you are Mary. I tried for a long time to get Mom interested in some project again. I bought her that last quilt. The pieces are already cut. She never put the first stitch in them. I tried simpler projects and what was done, I did. She always loved puzzles and was good at them. Now a simple 500 piece puzzle is too complicated for her. She may place a piece or two an hour if she is lucky. Now, just as the sewing, they frustrate her.

But she will read. She reads until she has to stop, forgets what she was reading, and starts something different the next time she sits down. She gets a daily newspaper, several magazines, and had access to many books. There is always a stack with markers in them where she has stopped but it does seem to entertain her. Beyond that she watches the news. We know her auditory input is severly impaired and she does much better visually. The news had scroll lines across the bottom and she reads them more than listens to what is being said. You just have to find what clicks by trying different activities and different levels of activities. My best advice is... keep it simple and see what he might pick up on.

If your relative can not paint any more, perhaps you can give him a sketch pad and pencils. If he reads maybe he would enjoy reading the poetry or somebody reading to him. Perhaps he would enjoy looking at some art books. All you can do is present them and see what he does with them. The library would be a great place to start at no cost.

I agree with IBake that depression is possible. It may not bring back his creativity but if he is depressed then perhaps medication can help him have a better outlook. It is worth talking to his doctor about.

Welcome to the forum. I too am sorry that you need to be here but glad you are. I applaude you for trying to help your relative. So many just bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore the ugly reality. It is always a breath of fresh air to see a relative that is truly trying to help

Love, deb

 
Old 01-11-2009, 09:58 AM   #5
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Adrian, Mi. USA
Posts: 445
petal*pusher HB User
Re: artist lacks creative incentive

MaryeM...my "welcome" joins the others here!

You have brought up an interesting question.

My Mom (diagnosed 10 yrs. ago; barely holding on in the last stage in an AF) was a very good artist her entire life. Looking back now, I realize she put a very good career on hold to raise 6 kids...but still worked in pastels and oil enough to encourage each of us (and grandchildren!) to pursue this talent in ourselves...and many have.

Mom quit using her hands to create a few years before diagnosis...but we were pleasantly surprised at the beautiful poetry she had been writing! Even those first few months in the beginning after placement, she could easily recite her poems..........now I realize it was mostly her trying to convince us her memory was O.K. How I would love to hear her whisper one to me now.

One of the first things I took Mom was some art supplies...just simple stuff that I thought would encourage her. Pencils, paper...just regular things...and a huge box of crayons. After 2 or 3 weeks I noticed nothing had been touched. She mentioned to my "faraway" Sister in a phone call that she just "didn't know which color to use"...and we knew it was just too hard to make a choice or decision. It was heart-breaking for us to come to grips that Mom's creativeness was no longer "there"..........it even showed in the little crafty things done at the AF.

I noticed also, when I took her anywhere that she seemed SO stimulated by every color and form around her...and it was such an overload for her. It took so long to get thru any store because she had to stop and touch each item.....especially loving the children's clothes/shoe departments.(?!?)

I'm so sorry to tell you that no matter how much you encourage...it probably will not be succesful...those skills have disappeared. This is just one more bitter step in this disease. I remember crying the entire hour drive home after one visit where Mom was found eating those crayons..........Pam

 
Old 01-11-2009, 03:32 PM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 5
MaryeM HB User
Re: artist lacks creative insentive

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibake&pray View Post
Hi and welcome to our little corner of Planet Alzheimer. I'm sorry that you had to come searching for us, but pleased that you found us.

Do you know what stage your relative is in as far as his dementia? Has he be psotivly diagnosed? There are some things that you really need to do right off the bat. First whoever is his caregiver needs to have both dorable power of attorney and medical power of attorney, plus they need to make sure that they are on all of the bank accounts. This is a protective measure so that when your relative gets to the point where he is no longer able to care for himself, someone has the power to make decisions for him.

As far as his lack of interest in creative activities. That is often one of the first things that leave dementia patients. Unfotunately there isn't much that you can do for him. When that link breaks in his brain, there is no way to restore the synopses. Creativity goes quickly. My mother used to be an avid crocheter. I tried several different times to get her to go back to it with no luck..except for her to tell me that what I was doing was crooked!

You could try to see if he is interested in reading poetry-can he still read? You dind't say.How about trying some poetry on tapes and see if he is interested in listening to those. Does he attend a center? Or is he at home? If he is at a center they might be able to help him try to paint again.

Also have you had him into his doctor and asked about him being depressed? Many dementia patients suffer from depression. After all, it is fairly awful knowing that you are going to lose your very way of thinking. Your relative might benefit from a mild antidepressant. It would help with the down in the dumps feeling that he experiences. If he doesn't have a good doctor that is up on dementia, I would find one for him.

Have you taken him out to art galleries? Or does going out bother him? No knowing how bad he is it is difficult to suggest things. If he is at the point where he can't go out, how about big books with pictures of oil painting that you can look at with him. Unfortunately there isn't too much that is going to bring much joy in his life right now.

I'm sure that others will join in and post. But I wanted to welcome you and start you off. Please make sure that you read the stickies at the top of the board. They have some good ideas. And read through the posts. They are full of facts and suggestions. And don't be afraid to ask questions. We have all had a go at this. I lost my mother a year ago to this horrid disease. I lost my father 5 weeks before my Mom to an anuerism, but Daddy also had vascular dementia,so I'm familar with that also. So once again, welcome...
Many thanks for your kindness and interesting response to all of you who have replied to this thread. I have found your comments helpful and will pass them on to the rest of the family. Mary

 
Old 01-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 5
MaryeM HB User
Re: artist lacks creative insentive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha H View Post
I, too, think that the ability to create something new is one of the first things to go; these patients are using up every reserve just to recall what they already knew and once did.

In her middle stages of Dementia my Mom suddenly got interested in writing ''poetry". She would put down a few coherent words and then it deteriorated into incomprehensible syllables. I always looked at these 'poems' and said, 'that's great; I never knew you could do this'. But it was not poetry.

This disease is a disaster for the victim and perhaps more so for his family. The person you knew will gradually disappear. But in my Mom's case her basic personality survived, easy going, positive, loving, and accepting.

I wish you luck on this hard path.

Martha
Many thanks for your comments Martha. As with the other responses, your suggestions give me food for thought. Best wishes, Mary

 
Old 01-11-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 5
MaryeM HB User
Re: artist lacks creative incentive

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGabriel10 View Post
I agree that the creativity is one of the first abilities to leave. My Mom made beautiful hand work. I have amazing quilts that she made, cross stitching, french hand sewing, smocking, anything she could do with her hands. One of her last projects was making porcelain doll. She poured the molds, cleaned them, had them fired, and then dressed them. The ones she completed were amazing. Then she just stopped and the last 20 dolls she made still stand in the back bedroom closet with no clothes. When she stopped cross stitching she said it was her eyes. She had corrective surgery and now has better than 20/20 vision but she has not picked up that needle again. The last quilt patter I bought her material for is now at my house still in pieces. I had to hem pants and sew on a button for her recently. She had an excuse for everything she didn't complete but in reality she was unable to do it any longer. One day I will make that last quilt for her and dress those dolls. I will not do it as well as she would have but I will do it.

I have been where you are Mary. I tried for a long time to get Mom interested in some project again. I bought her that last quilt. The pieces are already cut. She never put the first stitch in them. I tried simpler projects and what was done, I did. She always loved puzzles and was good at them. Now a simple 500 piece puzzle is too complicated for her. She may place a piece or two an hour if she is lucky. Now, just as the sewing, they frustrate her.

But she will read. She reads until she has to stop, forgets what she was reading, and starts something different the next time she sits down. She gets a daily newspaper, several magazines, and had access to many books. There is always a stack with markers in them where she has stopped but it does seem to entertain her. Beyond that she watches the news. We know her auditory input is severly impaired and she does much better visually. The news had scroll lines across the bottom and she reads them more than listens to what is being said. You just have to find what clicks by trying different activities and different levels of activities. My best advice is... keep it simple and see what he might pick up on.

If your relative can not paint any more, perhaps you can give him a sketch pad and pencils. If he reads maybe he would enjoy reading the poetry or somebody reading to him. Perhaps he would enjoy looking at some art books. All you can do is present them and see what he does with them. The library would be a great place to start at no cost.

I agree with IBake that depression is possible. It may not bring back his creativity but if he is depressed then perhaps medication can help him have a better outlook. It is worth talking to his doctor about.

Welcome to the forum. I too am sorry that you need to be here but glad you are. I applaude you for trying to help your relative. So many just bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore the ugly reality. It is always a breath of fresh air to see a relative that is truly trying to help

Love, deb
Thank you Deb. It has been helpful to read your reply and I will continue to try to help my relative the best way I can and will pick up on some of the suggestions from the replies I have received. Best wishes, Mary

 
Old 01-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 5
MaryeM HB User
Re: artist lacks creative incentive

Quote:
Originally Posted by petal*pusher View Post
MaryeM...my "welcome" joins the others here!

You have brought up an interesting question.

My Mom (diagnosed 10 yrs. ago; barely holding on in the last stage in an AF) was a very good artist her entire life. Looking back now, I realize she put a very good career on hold to raise 6 kids...but still worked in pastels and oil enough to encourage each of us (and grandchildren!) to pursue this talent in ourselves...and many have.

Mom quit using her hands to create a few years before diagnosis...but we were pleasantly surprised at the beautiful poetry she had been writing! Even those first few months in the beginning after placement, she could easily recite her poems..........now I realize it was mostly her trying to convince us her memory was O.K. How I would love to hear her whisper one to me now.

One of the first things I took Mom was some art supplies...just simple stuff that I thought would encourage her. Pencils, paper...just regular things...and a huge box of crayons. After 2 or 3 weeks I noticed nothing had been touched. She mentioned to my "faraway" Sister in a phone call that she just "didn't know which color to use"...and we knew it was just too hard to make a choice or decision. It was heart-breaking for us to come to grips that Mom's creativeness was no longer "there"..........it even showed in the little crafty things done at the AF.

I noticed also, when I took her anywhere that she seemed SO stimulated by every color and form around her...and it was such an overload for her. It took so long to get thru any store because she had to stop and touch each item.....especially loving the children's clothes/shoe departments.(?!?)

I'm so sorry to tell you that no matter how much you encourage...it probably will not be succesful...those skills have disappeared. This is just one more bitter step in this disease. I remember crying the entire hour drive home after one visit where Mom was found eating those crayons..........Pam
I was so sorry to read about your Mom, Pam, and only wish that I could say something to make things 'better'. It was very interesting to read about the over stimulation that colour and form caused and it gives me a different perspective on how to approach our problems. Many thanks for your response, and best wishes, Mary

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
my multivitamin lacks vitamin c silentking Vitamins & Supplements 3 07-30-2009 11:00 PM
artist with ADD Erick93 ADD / ADHD 2 05-09-2008 08:27 PM
Special FX artist New to RSD Major question? TheMightyTexan Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) 7 07-21-2006 04:09 PM
Artist or Engineer? Willstrideryder Autism Spectrum 15 05-13-2006 07:29 AM
[artist] My hand has been "weird" latley.. iyami Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 0 01-16-2006 12:05 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Aricept
Aspirin
Ativan
Morphine
Namenda
  Reminyl
Risperdal Seroquel
Xanax
Zoloft







All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:51 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Copyright and Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!