self-portraits with alzheimer’s disease

I went to an interesting talk last week, titled “a dialogue on aging, developmental disabilities and dementia” and learned a lot about how dementia impacts older persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
… Like how older persons (>40yrs) with down-syndrome are at a high risk (25%+) for developing Alzheimer’s disease. And the implications of that on health services, aging parent caregivers and housing.
Another interesting piece I took away was about the artist William Utermohlen.
William was an American artist who died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. His work expresses his experience as a patient living with this disease.
As his disease progressed, William focused on self-portraiture, particularly his own head and strange, black, half-open doorways which started to appear in the background. His declining movement control over his movement forced him to switch from oils to watercolours and pencils. I was really taken by his work; it is a fascinating insight into the mind of a person with Alzheimer’s. much love.

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One thought on “self-portraits with alzheimer’s disease

  1. Truly lovely post for a gentleman and artist worthy of respect. Dementia and Alzheimer’s being the insidious beasts they are stealing our loved ones before they’ve even gone is truly a tragedy.

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