Local News

Johnston County Artist Draws Attention to Alzheimers

Posted June 21, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Some call it old-timers disease, but Alzheimers can also strike people in their 30's and 40's. The brain disorder affects memory and robs a person of his ability to communicate and perform simple tasks.

Now, a Johnston County artist has found a way to increase awareness of this disease.

"What it was, back in the 70's, my grandfather had dementia-related problems," says artist Scott Waterhouse. "Part of it was from strokes. After I moved up here to North Carolina, my wife and I got married and, a few years ago, her grandmother had dementia problems. And hers was Alzheimers related.

"At the time, I was program director for a social day care program with the Johnston County Council on Aging, and I began to notice that people would wait until the last minute to seek help.

"So, I did the first drawing, called I Can Remember, and did it for the purpose of getting people out to start thinking ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute to get assistance.

"The verses that are with all these drawings basically came out of the counseling that I did with people, and personal experience that I had myself and with my wife and her family.

"But, I try to do just typical people, from the farmer's wife, that grew up on a farm and wears a summer bonnet seven days a week now, to a former president, former president Reagan. He helped by making his announcement when he did in 1994, to say 'there's something wrong with me and it's okay for others to admit to that, as well.

"This is my hope for it -- to try to get people to think about what is happening in their own families. It is sad, because no one wants to admit there's a problem, and especially if it's someone you love."

For more information about prints and exhibits of Scott's work, call919-639-0607.

More of Waterhouse's work