Sketchnoting Dementia


I recently took a Skillshare class called Visual Thinking: Drawing Data to Communicate Ideas. That may seem insanely boring and geeky to you but it’s actually quite the opposite to me. I’m a visual thinker and have found a lot of success in being able to show people ideas which resonate with them and that they remember.

A couple of my previous blogs about talking with my dad had visual content. I used color as an added dimension to show the depth of his emotion. This time I used a technique the Visual Thinking instructor, Catherine Madden, introduced in her Skillshare course. I made some icons of what my father finds important and plotted them along axes of Importance and Recollection. Since his thoughts vary on a minute-by-minute basis, I can visualize the conversation by rearranging the icons like PostIts.

There’s always my mom at the top right. He may not know where everyone lives and whether that’s in the same house. He ties my sons to baseball games they used to play. He can’t remember their names or whether they were the baseball guys or if I was. He’s also not sure of what city he lives in and where people are. My niece comes up often but never her father, my brother.

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