Memories in the Making to add more color to the QC

Local News

Memories in the Making returns to the Quad Cities this Thursday for its silent and live auction.

All of the artworks being auctioned off were created by those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia – more than 100 watercolor paintings.

Most of the artists have no prior art experience. But all were united by the painting process that provides an opportunity to engage socially and reminisce about meaningful life moments.

Jeff Nowack, son of an Alzheimer’s patient, is excited for his mother to participate in the event, He discussed the challenge of dealing with a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

It’s an uncertain challenge many people encounter. “It seems like It’ll affect everybody” he said.

Jeff’s mother was diagnosed with dementia many years ago.

“My mother is 93 years old. She was born in Bristol, England. She came here when she was 19 by herself. “She had a sister who lived here in the Quad Cities area and she came here and then she really never traveled,” he said.  

That was until she started exploring at 72 years old.

“She went to Hong Kong, she went to China, she went on cruises in Australia, New Zealand to Eastern Europe,” Nowack said.

It was a short-lived, yet worthwhile, journey.

After his mother was diagnosed, “We got the ‘Philips Lifeline’ (to assist) if she fell. And one day she pushed the button, and we went and shortly after going through some rehabilitation she was here at Senior Star.”

With that came a new hobby.

“We didn’t know she had any artistic talent and then we see this picture and we go, ‘Look at this thing. This is pretty good – maybe we can get her to paint a bunch of things.'”

Painting is a crucial outlet for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

“Inclusive recreation is a vital role when working with persons with dementia,” says Senior Star Program Coordinator Ashlee Goetsch.

“They may not be able to verbally express themselves, but if you give them paint, they can draw you a picture or may write the words…so that’s another way for them to express how they are feeling and their emotions at that time,” said Goetsch.

Memories in the Making will be held this Thursday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Local 4 News will be there live to cover the event.

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