This idea is for the entire care partnership, the person with MCI/dementia, the primary carepartner, family, friends, medical professionals, and anyone else who visits the home or care setting. It is portable, adaptable throughout the dementia disease progression, and can incorporate family and friends who live remotely or only visit occasionally.
The collaborative art journal, like the successful international community art projects such as 1000 Journals and PostSecret, would create a physical memento of the lived experiences of all those involved in the care and life of the person with dementia. Working in the journal can become an interactive project--a positive way to interact and connect that does not require words. The book form can incorporate important photos, memorabilia, and messages from friends and family. As the disease progresses, it can be a place to record memorable interactions, changes, and special or touching moments. As someone's care needs increase and verbal capability decreases, it can be more difficult for care partners to feel connected--projects and interactions designed to rely on nonverbal, tactile, and visual connection will create opportunities for people to maintain their connection or transform it as the disease progresses.
For those with social media accounts, the project will have opportunities to connect with other families to share experiences. Participants will have the opportunity to join an online community for extra prompts, suggestions, and support. This project will be designed to incorporate both completely offline and digitally connected users.