My Roses Painting Ipad Pro’d

(Above) I am still playing around with my new IPad Pro over an acrylic painting from a couple years back. I have struggled so much with flowers but keep coming back to them. Maybe because I like flowers? I especially had fun with the side of the pencil on the vase.

Caregiving Vignettes: “Earphones for Dementia”

In today’s writing I want to talk about the bluetooth earphones we got my husband for his television. They help bring peace to our home where we are not only caregiving dementia. My daughter is homeschooling 11th grade as well and I am keeping everyone on task (ish).

“WE NEED A LITTLE PIECE OF QUIET”

The littlest member of the family with ten years between her older siblings, I’m sure my daughter, when she first coined this enduring and endearing family phrase, was most likely at a loss for how to deal with the blaring Fox News her dad then listened to, and her teenager siblings with their music.

It’s a dozen years since then and he likes his TV louder than ever, though we tamed his viewing to Turner Classic Movies. The earphones are a solution for all of us. Isn’t it nice when a solution that works… works for all involved. That’s how I know it is right. He doesn’t just sit and watch TV with them on. He comes in to sit with me with them on and even has worn them to dinner. A little giggle is elicited at the sight of him eating dinner. I think he keeps them on and walks wearing Them because he enjoys the security of how they feel (maybe?). It doesn’t matter. They provide the peace we all need.

As I have tried to write this he has not been able to wear his earphones because they are charging. He’s been busy and needy while I’ve been trying to write.   He’s been taking the clothes off of his hangers and coming to show me each one, and talking about each piece one at at time, searching for his electric razor which I finally found for him in his television cabinet.  And while I was looking for it I found a cut electrical cord he stored in a bathroom drawer… not sure what that was from… and of course he doesn’t remember. I tried to get him to sit with me and read while I was doing a final edit, he couldnt find his glasses which is nothing new. In order to keep him busy a little longer so I could finish up, I sent him looking for the glasses and instead he brought me  dirty clothes from his room and now he wants his comb.  He can’t find his comb.  I suggest he check his pocket.  Bingo.  And he also found the note I wrote him in his pocket that says we are leaving in twenty minutes. So, it’s time for me to find an end here… for today…

Moral of the story, keep the earphones charged for peace.

The earphones work for 40 hours. If I were doing it right I’d charge them each night.

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Love created on my new IPAD Pro.

When I am not caregiving I am exploring and pushing the limits on art. I took a picture of some flowers with my new IPAD Pro and then I played with the photo editor until I learned how to art with the Apple Pen.  Don’t you think the Love looks like it’s all lit up?  Truly it was just layer on layer of playing with the pen in different modes, marker, highlighter, pencil. The coolest part is placing the pen on its side and sketching with the pencil.  It’s so much like a real pencil.  But, better in some ways.  In other ways, not.

Caregiving Vignettes:  “The Yellow Book” Part 1 of 2

I’m excited that I have a place to share not only my artistic endeavors, but also the things our family has experienced in the years of dealing with my husband’s early onset dementia.  I am most excited to talk about

“The Yellow Book”

that I made for my husband about 2 years ago.  I will have to simply begin to lay out the topic here because it is much too big to talk about in one post.  It is possibly the most instrumentally effective tool I have used for my husband’s behavior issues in his frontotemporal dementia.

I will do a question and answer here to explain what the yellow book is.

  1.  What is the yellow book actually (physically)?

It is a Mead composition notebook purchased from the office supply store. We had bought it with school supplies for my daughter. They sometimes come with plastic cover.  That’s the type we have.

2.  What have we used the yellow book for? Changing His Delusional Subject

Sometimes he gets stuck in some bad delusional thinking.  That was worse earlier on, years ago.  I can’t believe that we’ve been able to hang on this long!  But, in some ways it is easier now that we know what we are doing (in a way).

The delusion at the time of beginning “The Yellow Book” was getting a job.  The problem was it stirred him up, he would scour the paper for a job and think he needed to apply to them and wanted me to drive him around to find a job.  He thought he would drive himself… he thought he would walk out the door and practice self help when he thought I wasn’t helpful enough on the subject.

I pulled the yellow Mead notebook out of my daughter’s school supply cabinet and sat down at the table with him and pretended to interview him.  I made an important looking detailed list that he liked very much.  He liked the attention to detail on the subject.  The facts were simple:

  • His age,
  • that he is retired,
  • that he was glad to be retired.

2.  What other matters have been handled by “The Yellow Book”?

I will describe some of these in detail in another post but will outline them here:

  • A contract that he will be nice to the lady at the adult day care.  He had problems with the worker there when he first started going to the adult day care
  • a contract where he promised to eat the lunch while he was at the adult day care so that they could pull it out while he was there refusing to eat to see that he had signed it and I had signed it.
  • information about his past accomplishments
  • his family tree
  • scripture verses for comfort
  • pictures of family taped in throughout the book.  His favorite is the babies.
  • information about where we are located in the world

 

Througout the book I have asked him to sign the page so that he would feel it was official.  I thought that would be important because he was an attorney.

We reviewed the book often regarding the employment matter.   And we would talk in an official way with serious voices about it:  like, “Hmmm, looks like it really is official.”  And shrug, .. “that’s that.”  And he would answer:  “Well, okay, it is official.” (Sometimes later on I think of myself doing that… playing that official part… and I smile.

3.  What do we use the book for today?

He likes to review it but does not any longer understand what any of it really means.  But, it seems to him that it does.  He is presently sitting across from me as I type away at this blog… and is pouring over the book with a paper and a pen jotting down “notes” that make no sense to anyone but him in the moment. If you did not know him you would think he was studying for a difficult exam.

Maybe he is.

At this point he is further along the decline of bvFTD and so I have had to reassess the things I do to help him. He now uses “The Yellow Book” as a security.  He likes to look at the pictures in it.  He usually remembers to bring it when it’s time to walk out the door to the adult care.  The most important part to him now is the baby pictures and the yellow sticky note on its cover where I wrote that I will pick him up at 3:00 pm.

I will talk more about today’s use of “The Yellow Book” in my part 2 post of “The Yellow Book”.

Thought:  “It is always TODAY because yesterday is gone and tomorrow’s never here.”  So, it is today where we live.