Friday, March 4, 2011

Sculpture and Walkers

The goal: Customize a standard grey hospital walker so that my 87 year old mother in law would notice it and use it.
Dorothy's walker wrapped in bright pink and red tape.
Dorothy loves pink so I bought bright pink survey tape and red duct tape and wrapped it. We took the walker to the nursing home and presented it to her.

Readers, she hated it.

"That's horrid that color! It's ugly." 
"It's shocking pink", I said. 
"It's shocking all right!"

This is a mighty strong opinion from a gracious Southern woman who can't remember that she fell and broke her hip five weeks ago. She couldn't tell you what happened five minutes ago if her life depended upon it.  But she knew she hated that color.

We all laughed about it as I stripped the tape off, returning the walker to institutional grey.

After leaving the nursing home, Mistah David redeemed my work and the evening by saying: "Isn't it interesting that her aesthetic sense is the last thing to go?"

The power of art....
Dorothy (in pink) and the offending walker (also in pink).


Angeline-Marie said...

Yes, aesthetics are one of the last things to go.

For my father, it was the love of cute, small, soft things. Put something like that in his hands and he would enjoy it for hours. The last thing he remembered was a little chick that would chirp electronically upon touching hands.

Did you do anything more to the walker for her? How about spray paint in a soft pink?

Patrick Gracewood said...

I'm letting the walker be plain, I'd thought of adding a little bell or soft terry cloth wrapped grips..

It's such a weird thing, not wanting to enfantalize her, yet it's so easy to forget that how fragile her world is...

That make any sense?
It's easy to come on too strong, want too much.

So instead I often sit in silence with her, just holding her hand, being with her is the biggest gift I can give her.

Cindy Michaud said...

I would have loved the pink walker...5 stars for your efforts and another 10 for not making a big deal of it. They have so little control at this stage that it is always a shocker when they do express a strong opinion. Just be there and touch her. I've been there.

Patrick Gracewood said...

Thanks, Cindy.
It is strange being in the (late) middle phase of my life, helping care for both the very young and the very elderly. Gives one great perspective, (when not exhausted.) We can hope for kindness when it's our turn to receive.