Marg Patterson's painted cards help support the Alzheimer Society
May 12, 2016, by Elizabeth Barrie
Marg Patterson first started painting in 1991, following her retirement from Bell Canada, after 27 years. Marg found this new hobby provided the opportunity to meet new people, while learning skills and techniques to improve her art.
In recent years, Marg and her husband, Sam, have been coming to terms with his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. During this time, Marg’s painting has become an outlet, connecting her socially through an Art Group in Tillsonburg. The members of the group, who help critique each other’s work and inspire artistic growth, have become a source of emotional support for Marg. With the group, Marg can reflect on the challenges she and Sam face, noting, “A problem shared is a problem half-solved”. Marg finds the time spent painting offers a welcome diversion and therapeutic break from her caregiving role.
At the time of Sam’s diagnosis, Marg felt panicked and alone. The following day she called the Alzheimer Society of Oxford to learn as much as she could about the disease. Marg and Sam were connected with a Family Support Worker and began attending the First Steps education series. “I don’t know what people do without the help of the Alzheimer Society. You can’t change the disease, so you have to learn to deal with it,” says Marg, who continues to receive ongoing assistance by attending Support Groups with Sam and other families impacted by a diagnosis of dementia.
Having been on the receiving end of meaningful support from the Alzheimer Society of Oxford, Marg feels compelled to do something personal to “give back”. By turning her art work into greeting cards, Marg hopes to help raise needed funds for the programs and services offered to people with dementia, and their families. Marg takes comfort in knowing the painting she does, for enjoyment, may serve to benefit someone other than herself.
Marg sums up the value of her family’s involvement with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford, saying, “Sometimes you need to talk about a problem, and by attending the support groups, I know I’m going to get the best advice possible. The Alzheimer Society of Oxford helped me find a “back up” when I needed it and has provided a soft place to fall”.
Marg Patterson’s greeting cards feature a variety of her original artwork and can be purchased for $10 a package through the Alzheimer Society of Oxford at our office (575 Peel Street, Woodstock), at support groups of the Alzheimer Society and at the Walk for Alzheimer’s.
Marg’s cards make a wonderful gift. Shelley Green, Executive Director for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford has given the cards as a gift three times in the last two weeks and said, “All those I gave the cards to really love them and commented on how beautiful Marg’s art work is. For me, giving the cards is a win-win. I am giving a gift people really appreciate and enjoy and the Alzheimer Society of Oxford receives $10 for each package to help support our programs and services. Thank you Marg for sharing your talent with us and for helping us make a difference in our client’s lives.”