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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

                  Freelance Writer

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                  Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                  10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                  10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                  The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

                  In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

                  Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

                  1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

                  What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

                  Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

                  2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

                  Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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                  How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

                  Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

                  Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

                  3. Get comfortable with discomfort

                  One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

                  Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

                  4. See failure as a teacher

                  Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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                  Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

                  Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

                  10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

                  5. Take baby steps

                  Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

                  Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

                  Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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                  The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

                  6. Hang out with risk takers

                  There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

                  Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

                  7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

                  Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

                  Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

                  8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

                  What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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                  9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

                  Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

                  If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

                  10. Focus on the fun

                  Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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