Friday, October 21, 2016

The Art of Aging?

Artful Aging?
I've been working on my friends at a local art school/gallery to put together a memory impaired and caregiver class. Something not crafty, which is what a lot of Sr centers do. "Make a snowman out of a sock"--mom hated the craft (but she kind of likes the snowman).

We need a real art class. Something open ended. Something messy.
Something tactile

I sent the program director a video documenting the positive impact of art on dementia patients. She was intrigued. And since I'm so needy, I'm pushing. I even offered to help write grants for it in my copious free time.

My dilemma is what to call the class. If other DSLO (dementia suffering loved ones) are like mom they will refuse any class that implies they have Alzheimer's or dementia---there is nothing wrong with mom!

And truthfully, if it's called creative aging, she won't want to go either, because she's not old. She was appalled by all the "really old people" at the Sr Center--most of whom were younger than she.

While brainstorming names for a class name that cues caregivers to what it is, is fun for DSLO and is catchy for funders, I've been thinking about the forgetful fish, Dory, from Finding Nemo.

Mom is a lot like Dory. She has to be told the same stuff over and over, but repetition can actually imprint information on her. Dory is cheerful, sympathetic and surprising. She has skills that manifest when she needs them and imagines skills she doesn't have. She is the perfect animated representation of the memory impaired.

But, I can't use Dory, who is a licensed public figure, because we can't afford a licensing fee. We can barely afford the class. So,  back to the brainstorm.

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