Arts ‘n Crafts after Dementia Diagnosis – Intro

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Tru here.  October was always month of creativity at our house.  Trick-or-treat meant we needed to prepare gift for each house we visited.  Some years it was physical gift like autumn greeting card, but some years activity gift like song or very brief skit.  One year we did dance/acrobatic performance at each door for Halloween.  Every October was full of question “what can we do or give this year that will make each household smile?” and one year we were in the local newspaper.  So this month blog entries will reflect my seasonal focus for that.  I will start with generalizations and goals.  Next week hope to provide examples of personal projects from fellow PWD.  Later plan to finish with specific challenges, tools and techniques … so stay tuned!

Just as loved ones need to let go of comparison and learn to appreciate what remains, so do we as Persons With Dementia.  Immediately after graduation, I began learning architectural symbols and styles.  When I ran a small business of education-oriented childcare while living in Italy and then USA, I continued to gather information and dreams of architecture.  During bathtime, after working 10-hour days in the business world, my hand held pencil for either prose or architectural drawings. My dementia symptoms showed at work beginning Feb 1999.  Within the first few months of the year 2000, I was no longer able to hold a job, so was able to resume my love of many other activities –  including architecture.  It took a very long time and several years of revision, but during 2003 and 2004 I created and submitted the various architectural blueprint drawings for building this “Craftsman”-style two-story house with full wrap-around porch.  I was the architectural engineer and my husband still remains the carpenter/plumber etc.  But I cannot allow myself to COMPARE this project with my current abilities.  It needs to stay in proper perspective in order to make the most of my years with dementia.  If I compare those drawings with my current projects I feel small, helpless, and useless; a shadow of my former self.  I hold some poems and writings from my past in my memoirs book, but if I COMPARE those with my current blog postings I feel stupid, inept, and inadequate; I am motivated to give up writing rather than continue the craft for as long as possible, maximizing this window of communication with the world.

I was diagnosed on July 23, 2012 at 10am.  Later that afternoon I wrote to my husband: “I want to take out a loan in order to finish construction of the house, with very large craft room in garage.  Creating makes me feel alive, so I want to THINK that I can do sewing and stuff for as long as possible (even after I am not really capable of doing it).”  We expect my craft room available to begin filling on October 15, 2014, still with no mortgage on this house since we built only as money was saved and available.  (Our children can testify that except for charity we are very very tight with our funds.)

I need to focus on what remains of my abilities, gathering tools and techniques to maximize those capabilities so that I will retain my motivation, skills and feeling of creativity as long as possible.  October blog focus will be on arts and crafts of various types, within the windows of my fellow Persons With Dementia.  Hope you will share and look in on this blog next week.


Index of my own Arts and Crafts projects at >> .

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5 thoughts on “Arts ‘n Crafts after Dementia Diagnosis – Intro

  1. What we can achieve now is as important as those in the past. Such a great post Truthful with such sadness. Your achievements in what you bring to others now is IMMENSE. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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