Untangling the Expressive Arts for Dementia Care with Daniel C. Potts, MD
Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN is a neurologist, author, poet, educator, and champion of those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their care partners. His professional life collided with his personal in 2002, when his father, Lester, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He soon found himself on his own dementia journey, and like many other care partners, became adrift in despair, confusion, grief, and helplessness as he watched his father decline.
Soon after Lester started attending a day care program for people with cognitive impairment, he began to show a previously unknown talent for painting watercolors. This not only delighted him and his family but also others at the center, and he obtained some local notoriety for his colorful artwork. Not long after, Daniel’s own creativity with words emerged, and his poetry became a necessary outlet to release his sorrow over his father’s illness. The transformations he and Lester experienced through their work inspired him to create his foundation, Cognitive Dynamics, which brings the expressive arts to person-centered care, enabling those with cognitive impairment to find new ways to express themselves.
Daniel believes his dementia journey has made him a better physician, and he brings his personal insight and the lessons he’s learned to his practice, where he is passionate about promoting self-preservation and dignity for all persons with cognitive impairment. He is the author of several books of poetry and with his wife, Ellen, has written “A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver.” He lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with Ellen and their two daughters.
Daniel was selected by the American Academy of Neurology as the 2008 Donald M. Palatucci Advocate of the Year; he also has been designated an Architect of Change by Maria Shriver. In 2016, he was chosen by the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association as a recipient of the Martha Myers Role Model Award, honoring physician alumni whose lives epitomize the ideal of service to their communities.
In this episode we discuss confronting dementia from the unique perspectives of both son and physician, how his father’s dementia almost brought him under and the self-care methods that helped him regain and maintain his physical and emotional balance, and how the expressive arts can bring comfort, peace, and joy to those living with a dementia diagnosis.
Read Dr. Potts’ AlzAuthors post: https://alzauthors.com/2017/02/21/meet-daniel-c-potts-physician-author-and-dementia-advocate/
Start reading “A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver” with Ellen Potts now! https://amzn.to/3nP2IIB
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Connect with Dr. Potts
Cognitive Dynamics: www.cognitivedynamics.org
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