Thursday, December 4, 2014


My job is so weird: someone said to me that it's like Mother Teresa, but it's more like Martha Stewart. I spend most of my time researching, preparing, leading, and cleaning up after craft-making.
We also do chair exercises, sing, play some games, chat... but the best way I know to engage a group of people of various skill levels (but mostly not including words) is to make stuff.

Crafts aren't something I do a lot of on my own time, but I get the feeling it's pretty familiar territory to most of the women I work with.
This week we've been cutting out and painting stand-up reindeer, and today we're making a birthday party for my boss.

Open-ended questions are hard for people with dementia, but sometimes they spark a bit of conversation, so I asked,
"What sort of cake shall we make?" 


"You should ask her," one woman said.

"No! You can't say, We're surprising you, what kind of cake do you like?" another woman said. 
[Some people, but not most, do connect the dots like that.]

People laughed.

"What about chocolate?" someone else said.


So, today we'll make chocolate cake... probably cupcakes, baked in paper cups, because they're easier to serve.

After a quick google, I learn that "Cocoa comes from roasted cacao seeds. It's high in plant compounds called cocoa flavonoids, which have been shown to have beneficial effects on heart disease risks and on blood flow to the brain."

So says Harvard, who also warns that the fat & sugar in chocolate cake & candy counteracts any good effects, plus you have to eat the equivalent of 8 chocolate bars to get enough flavonoids...


The Crow said...

Re: chocolate as medicine - well, crap! There goes my cure-all!

Guess I'll just have to eat all those bars for the pleasure of it, then.

Zhoen said...

Chocolate makes me happy, which is enough reason for me.

ArtSparker said...

I volunteered at a place called Creative Growth for about three years, where people with various disabilities make art. It has been developed, with some residents having talent, an on-site gallery with themed openings,savvy marketing,and a well-maintained donor list, as a not only a place for art-making but a good earner/center for outsider art. Some of the particpants have gone on to national reputations (Judith Scott being the most notable).

Fresca said...

Wow, Sparky--cool!
I looked up Judith Scott--amazing work! I especially love the bound chair---reminds me of the setting I work in (senior residence)--a sense of frustrated power...