You can usually tell what’s going on in my life by the number of LEGO bricks I have out!! This picture will give you an idea of where my focus has been this week!
I decided I’d put my LEGO bricks to good use by holding a LEGO Lab to design additional fidget toys to help those with dementia. It would be my contribution as we all wait out the devastation of COVID-19. My goal was to use very unusual pieces in my collection and to think outside the box as I created pieces I’d never done before. I spent hours after work this week and many hours this weekend.
Mom loves things that are brightly colored and spin so that the colors mesh together like a rainbow. Since I can’t see Mom right now, one smart way to spend our separation time is to have lots of fun things to show her when I see her again.
My favorite creation reminds me of an amusement park ride. It spins completely around and I used pastel colors which she loves. I’m pretty sure this one will get a WOW from her!
I also created a little garden which reminds me of a small plot Mom had at her senior retirement home before dementia cane into our lives. There’s also a square to which I attached two different types of fences which I believe will keep her hands occupied. One of the most unusual pieces LEGO makes is a big orange circular piece that I decided to try to use like a spinning top! It came out even better than I had hoped. People with middle to late stage dementia tend to like things that spin. The last piece pictured with the two blue spheres reminds me of a rattle in a sense because I placed two small LEGO pieces inside each sphere. It can be shaken but also spins around.
When fidget spinners became popular years ago I had always wanted to make a LEGO version for Mom. So I gave it a try in my LEGO Lab and am quite happy with the result! While holding it in one hand it spins really fast and I believe it will be very popular.
I built a few art pieces as well, one of which I’ll likely hang in Mom’s room. The frustrating thing about COVID-19 is that we still don’t know everything about it yet. There’s no clear black or white about it… so I made a few black and white pieces. This one is my favorite!
I doubt when this is over that we will ever return to a “normal” that will include the live presentations I had been giving for the last five years to help families deal with this disease. So before virtual church this morning I spent a couple of hours using Zoom and practicing my newest presentation that I haven’t given live yet. It’s a show and tell type presentation with me showing and demonstrating different types of activities from my large gadget bag and I was very happy with my first trial run! I’m praying I can still provide help and hope to families in a virtual format.
One of the best things that happened this weekend was the number of calls for advice I received from stressed family members. Since most senior centers and Departments of Aging are closed due to the pandemic I’m happy to answer as many questions as I can. I know some people think I’m crazy for giving out my cell phone number at every presentation but now that we are facing such a crisis and lots of people need help, giving out my number has been the smartest thing I could have done. I can’t be on the front lines to help fight this pandemic but I feel I’m doing what I can do.
My favorite call this morning was from Billy in Delaware who heard me speak in Nov. He and several other relatives are caring for his Mom with dementia and she’s a handful. He’s called me several times since Nov and he’s always so grateful that I take his call. I gave him a few suggestions and we ended our call with him saying “Bless you my friend”! That’s what I’ve been saying in my prayers for everyone fighting COVID-19 on a daily basis and risking their own safety. I pray that this will end soon and that until it does that we all will continue to do whatever we can to help each other! Stay safe my friends and Bless you all!