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Artist Reconnects With His Mom With Dementia Through His Camera

Artist Reconnects With His Mom With Dementia Through His Camera

When artist Tony Luciani’s elderly mother Elia moved in with him, he didn’t see it as a burden. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to start a wonderful project with his new camera — he needed a subject and Elia was the perfect model.

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    Timeless Memories

    Elia suffers from dementia, meaning she often recalls memories from years gone by but can’t remember the last minute, hour, or day. Tony decided to use this as inspiration for testing out his new camera — a short-term project that was to span almost 2 years.

    The series of photos portray Elia’s dementia in a unique and personal way, fusing her distant memories with her current reality.

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          From One Caregiver To Another

          Tony describes how his mother was always his caregiver but now the roles have reversed. He wanted to include Elia in the project to make her feel productive and show his true love and adoration for her.

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          “She’s always been someone who participated and gave more than she received.”

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            More Than Just Another Art Project

            Elia is still pretty active and goes for small walks often, stopping by a bench or sitting under a tree by herself.

            Although looking after his elderly mother has been lonely at times, Tony believes the photography has given back more than he could have asked for.

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            “I’m doing more work, and I’m not at the beach. I’m at the studio and I’m creating and I’m doing photographs,” he said. “And with her here as my model, it’s every artist’s dream to have a model that I can call — and there she is.”

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                  Dealing With The Heartache Of Dementia

                  Tony says the project has been successful due to the love he has for his mother and has helped him really re-evaluate the relationship he has with her.

                  Dementia can be emotionally hard on the loved ones of those suffering with the disease, but finding a truly involving and productive way to explore and deal with the journey has helped both Tony and Elia in their life together.

                  “Here I thought, initially, I was going to be the brave guy and take her into my home, rather than shoving her into a nursing home or assisted living, and having my life disrupted and all that. But what I got out of it was more than I gave.”

                  Featured photo credit: Tony Luciani via tonyluciani.ca

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                  Jenny Marchal

                  A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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                  Last Updated on October 17, 2019

                  How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                  How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                  You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

                  But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

                  Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

                  What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

                  Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

                  So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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                  1. Recognize the Signs

                  If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

                  Some telltale signs include:

                  • You’re always on your phones.
                  • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
                  • You aren’t together during important events.
                  • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
                  • You don’t make plans or date nights.
                  • You’re not happy.

                  If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

                  2. Try New Things Together

                  Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

                  Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

                  Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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                  Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

                  3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

                  Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

                  Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

                  Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

                  4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

                  One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

                  Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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                  5. Cook Meals Together

                  Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

                  One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

                  Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

                  If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

                  6. Have a Regular Date Night

                  Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

                  The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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                  Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

                  • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
                  • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
                  • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
                  • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
                  • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
                  • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
                  • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

                  Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

                  Final Thoughts

                  The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

                  • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
                  • Lowers divorce rates
                  • Improves communication
                  • Reduces marital boredom
                  • Bonds couples closer
                  • Improves friendship
                  • Boosts health
                  • Reduces stress

                  These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

                  It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

                  These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

                  Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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