Monday 29 September 2014

Elder care and a new sketch challenge

Since I last posted, we managed to find a placement for Dad in a Nursing Home.  I've been taking Mum up to see him almost daily so my days have been quite full with little time for much else.  When I do get days to myself,  I'm usually catching up with housework, etc.  There were some very emotional days once we settled Dad into his room at the Home. Dad seemed so sad. Mum and I even brought him back to his own home for a couple of days thinking we'd made a mistake but, after only one night, Mum quickly realised that she was unable to cope with Dad's high needs care.  Dad will have been a resident of the Home for four weeks come Wednesday and he does seem to be more settled now.  They have activities daily for the dementia pod and it makes us happy to see Dad included in these as he has never been a mixer.  He waves hello to staff and other residents; some of the staff even get hugs.  Of course, I'm sure he will still have his down days but, for the most part, things seem to be going well.

Beau (#2 son), Dad, Bradley (#1 son), and my Mum.

Believe it or not, in just under two weeks of being in the Home, Dad was whisked off to hospital and ended up with a cast on his forearm due to a suspected broken wrist from one of his many falls.  Yes, he's had quite a few falls at the Home but we're not surprised. Dad is a very high falls risk.   As soon as he stands up, he's at risk of falling due to his stroke-affected side so, no, we don't blame the Home. He had many falls even before he went into the Home. The staff can't be with him 24 hours a day as they have other residents to care for too.  I can say that they are doing everything they can to prevent or lessen the amount of falls he does have.  A sensor mat on the floor by his bed, adjusting his bed height so it's lower to the ground making it impossible for him to stand up from the bed without assistance, and keeping his walker out of sight are three of the main ones.  While a walker aid may be great for some, it's a danger for Dad unless he has someone assisting him.  If Dad sees the walker, he tries to get to it because he thinks he can manage alone...he can't.

Me, Bradley, and two lovebirds. hehe

The Home has a cafe within the facility with a nice rockery fountain setting (seen behind me in the photo above) which I plan to sketch at a later date.  Speaking of sketching, I took on a new challenge recently....

365 days of daily sketches!

Just call me crazy!

I have been sketching but I haven't had time to transfer them all
from my camera to the computer 
and then re-size them all for uploading.
So, for now, I'll post the first 14 days of sketches. 

I sketch mostly from life, on location,
and I always sketch directly in pen,
only occasionally will I sketch from a photo.
I will also use watercolours, PRO or PITT markers,  
or more rarely, coloured pencils to finish the sketch. 
I'm currently using my quad-rule Holcroft travel sketchbook.
I'm happy to say that it seems to handle the watercolour 
reasonably well and, unless I really overwork an area, 
it does not bleed through to the other side.
I'm impressed considering the paper is recycled
and quite thin at 120gsm.

Some sketches are rushed and simple,
others more detailed. 
I sketch as time allows each day.

I must also apologise for the awful photos.
The lighting was terrible
and I just didn't have time to re-take them.

I will try to upload more over the coming days. 

I know I'm a little late but I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches 
and The Artist's Play Room for this post.


  1. beautiful journal pages, you are so talented! Thanks for sharing about your dad. My mom also has dementia but lives with my sister so far. It gets more and more difficult.

    1. Thanks, Christine! Sorry about your Mum...Dad would still be at home if it wasn't for his physical disability due to stroke. Breaks my heart and, yes, it does get more difficult. All the best. xx

  2. 365 days! Wow! I love that it is like a sketch journal or a sketch diary. You will have fun looking back on this in the future.
    Glad your dad has adjusted and is waving and smiling and giving hugs!! So glad! You have been super busy if you are up there every day with your mom. Sounds like you need to take some time for yourself one of these days. ;) But I am glad things are going well, though. :):)

    1. I love sketchbook journaling...I do enjoy looking back over the pages and reading them. Yes, I really need to set up a better plan so that I still get time for me. Thanks, Rita. xo

  3. Hi Serena. Sorry about your dad being away from the love of his life. It must be so very difficult. So sad. Glad he is doing a little better though. Great journal pages. Your work is always true to life. Hope things get better for your dad. Take care.

    1. It's a very difficult and emotional time, Gloria. Thanks for your caring words. xo

  4. wow, i find this post really touching, considering what my post was about today (art wise). I adore your journals! Even the lines on the paper add to the magic - a lot like that purse are so awesome it's like trompe d'oeil. Wow!

  5. Good for you! What wonderful sketches you have so far. I'm impressed!!!

  6. Beautiful sketches you've done and I enjoyed seeing them all. Glad you have your dad where it is best for him and what a loving couple they are. Great photo of you!

  7. Awe, so awesome to see your Mom and Dad so in love! Glad your Dad has done well. Sorry to hear about his broken arm. Goodness. Your sketches are all fantastic! Love your Frozen sketch! xoxo.

  8. sorry to read about your dad's health problems :( Always stressful and heartbreaking when a loved one is having health problems but good to see everyone still visits and smiles :)

    great sketches and the text really adds a lot of life to the pages

  9. So sorry to hear about your dads helth problems but I love the way you are sketching everyday. Your art is always so beautiful. You inspire me to get back to daily sketching also.

  10. I am glad that your dad is a bit more settled. I know how worrying it is when parents get old and need help. Love your beautiful sketch. It is good that you are able to keep your sketching going Inspite of your busy life. It helps to keep stress levels low.