At the recent conference of the Dementia Action Alliance in Atlanta, GA, there was an extensive display of artistic creations by people with dementia. There were paintings and drawings (in different mediums), photographs, ceramics, and fiber arts. I was particularly enchanted by the fiber arts created by Cecil, and I asked him to create me a piece.
It arrived in the mail yesterday:
My photography skills are not great, so the photograph doesn't do the piece justice -- an intricate, crocheted creation, using many different stitches and colors.
Not only does Cecil have dementia, but he is nearly blind.
People with dementia who take up an artistic expression after their diagnosis say that it is very fulfilling, and a wonderful way to interact with the world in a new way. Perhaps anyone who is artistic will say the same thing.
In any case, we all need more art in our lives, and I applaud anyone who is artistic. And let this be a reminder that people with dementia have many gifts, and we should encourage their expression.