Last night, and again in a few moments, I'll be watching a documentary titled "I Remember Better when I Paint", on a World Channel (, one of the PBS channels. The program addresses the impact and influence of art on dementia patients. It's definitely worth watching. In SE Michigan, it's airing today and again tomorrow. One of the encouraging, and exciting features is of 90+ year old people being so active, including one who still plays piano for others! (I definitely need to start practicing piano again, especially if it helps keep my brain functioning!)

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I should have thought of this before: there's a YouTube video of the documentary: (If the URL ist runcated, just google "I feel better when I paint."

Snoopy, it was quite interesting, a blend of medical advice and observation from doctors as well as those professionally working and caring for folks with Alzheimers or other dementia, and also a little blend of straight and emotionless medical advice w/o the closeness that can develop between patients and their carers.

One of the doctors commented that only 1 out of 10 "nursing homes" meet standards in staffing levels, out of 15,000 nursing homes in the US. That's appalling.

The most positive aspect of the documentary was the effect of art on people with dementia, and the strongest was one of the doctor's observations that classifying people with some memory loss, or dementia, as "patients" is to him very inappropriate. He was one of the best doctors who offered advice.

Another important factor was the effect of color on people with dementia. It reminded me of a doctor's office we used to visit. It was decorated with beautiful artwork, some created by the mother of one of the doctors. Going to that practice was completely unlike going to any other medical office.

The artwork was so beautiful that it was so relaxing; the office lacked that bare effect, with walls only covered with anatomy charts and degree certificates.

All in all what I gained from the program was the powerful effect of color and art on people with memory loss or dementia. I promised myself to get out my colored pencils and start drawing again.

That sounds interesting, GardenArtist. I'll keep an eye out for that one!

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