Poetry Overpowering Alzheimer’s

Frances with Howard Garval, president & CEO of CFS Hawaii.

Earlier this month, author Frances Kakugawa presented a lecture and writing session for the Hawaii Child and Family Services Gerontology Department. Watermark donated sets of her books for CFS and host venue 15 Craigside (a continuing care retirement community) as resources for their communities. Frances is an advocate of the power of poetry to enrich the lives of children, the elderly and those who care for them. Writing—poetry and journaling in particular—helped her cope with the stresses of caring for her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother. In Mosaic Moon and Breaking the Silence, Frances collects her own poems, and those of other caregivers, along with advice for using writing as a therapy tool.

At the CFS presentation, Frances read several poems from Mosaic Moon and Breaking the Silence, and talked about how to preserve dignity in those we care for.

Frances wrote on her blog:

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most baffling and arduous journeys for caregivers and loved ones. Even while we are burdened with the everyday stresses, like cleaning up BM and repeating the same thing over and over until we want to scream, we need discover how to muddle through so dignity and honor can be preserved. It becomes our mission to give care to ourselves so our loved ones can in turn, receive the best from us. Writing can give us that way to care for ourselves.

The process of writing forces us to make decisions about ourselves as we search for appropriate words, feelings, ideas, and thoughts, letting our true inner voice that wants to be heard, be heard.

We recorded parts of Frances’ presentation and created these videos to share some of her poems, and also one from a workshop participant, Rod Masumoto. Please take some time to click over to Frances’ blog to read more about each poem.

“Oscar Time” (read blog post)

“Diagnosis: Genius Rejected” (read blog post)

“What Do I Feel?” by Rod Masumoto (read blog post)

“Dylan Thomas, We Did Not Go Gentle Into that Night” (read blog post)

Frances offers lectures and workshops for community groups, health care providers and schools, both for children and adults. Visit her website for more information on how to book her for a presentation.

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Posted on May 30, 2012, in Events, Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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