Thursday, January 3, 2013


I bought paint for Bob’s house over two months ago and then life got a hold of me and the painting project crept forwarded on my ‘To Do List”.  Suddenly it all came together when Ketut expressed concern, “Susan, the paint will go bad if left too long in the cans”. It was his Balinese way of motivating me to finish the project.

Two women were hired who’ve painted for us before. In three days the job was completed.  The cottage now looks fantastic and the caregivers say, “Bob seems more relaxed and not so antsy to go out all the time”.

After learning from some Alzheimer’s experts about the role of color (see blog entry ‘Color and Contrast’, October 29, 2012) we decided every room should be painted differently in the hope Bob could navigate his way around more easily and most importantly find the bathroom which has become a challenge for him.

The bathroom is now bright yellow distinguishing it from the adjacent lilac bedroom, giving it contrast. And we have a large photo of a toilet with an arrow pointing in the right direction. We painted the TV room blue gray and the outside of the house is a clear sky blue.

Bob's Newly Painted Cottage
Sometimes projects take months to happen and when they’re finished it’s a relief and I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. But it can be a challenge juggling the running our business, writing a bi-monthly cooking column, overseeing Bob’s care and trying to do the best we can for him. Finally his cottage is bright and fresh and I can cross it off the ‘To Do List’.

When I went to check on the finished paint job, the cleaning lady was changing the sheets. Bob was taking an after breakfast snooze on the verandah, not waking up while I was there talking with the caregiver.  Now that’s relaxed!

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