Langley resident works to inspire caregivers

Ivan Neaigus’ life as a caregiver is an unfinished canvas. Perhaps it will always be so. His wife, Sarah Letitia Wallace, died in 2012 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, but the Langley resident is not yet ready to set aside the role.

Ivan Neaigus puts the final touches on his painting for the upcoming show “In Transition.”

Ivan Neaigus’ life as a caregiver is an unfinished canvas. Perhaps it will always be so.

His wife, Sarah Letitia Wallace, died in 2012 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, but the Langley resident is not yet ready to set aside the role.

The Langley resident wants to help caregivers bring the spark back into life for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. He’s developed a program, “Transitional Togetherness,” with friend Talia Toni Marcus that will highlight Wallace’s artwork in a show called “In Transition.”

“Finding that stimulus in their past life, is the important thing,” he said.

Neaigus, a sculptor, watched Wallace shift into a passive state after her diagnosis in 2001. To encourage her to get back in touch with life, he began doing what she loves — creating art. Neaigus reassembled her art room and together they began sketching.

The results were astonishing. Wallace re-engaged with life.

“For Sarah, it was a revival,” he said.

Her first sketch was completed in just two days.

“I grabbed another piece of paper, and on we went,” he said.

Wallace used colored pencils as her medium and completed 45 images. Her last was never finished.

Now, Neaigus hopes to help other caregivers going through a similar experience. His work places an emphasis on the caregiver because the patient is always a given, he said.

“A caregiver is in a different position, a conduit between life and the patient,” he said. “If they have their center together, they can permeate that to the patient.”

Art show

The show begins at 5 p.m. today, Jan. 18 at the Brackenwood Gallery, 302 First St, Langley. Neaigus and Marcus will begin a presentation on the work and information on the disease at 6 p.m. with a second presentation at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. The show runs through Monday, Jan. 27.

 

More in News

Woman accused of stealing, hiding gun

A 46-year-old South Whidbey woman was arrested for allegedly stealing a gun… Continue reading

Woman allegedly threatened officer over animal cruelty citation

An Oak Harbor woman was recently arrested for allegedly threatening to kill… Continue reading

Interim city attorney appointed during Feb. 18 council meeting

Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns appointed a new top lawyer during the… Continue reading

Participants, workers sought for 2020 census

As federal census preparations intensify in Island County, researchers emphasize the historical… Continue reading

Oak Harbor will look at alternatives to utility rate hikes

Oak Harbor ratepayers may not be facing increased utility rates, for now.… Continue reading

Johnson seeking third term on board of county commissioners

Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson is seeking a third term this fall.… Continue reading

Judge rules against downtown Oak Harbor housing project

A proposed housing development for low-income people does not conform to Oak… Continue reading

New Mexican restaurant opens in Oak Harbor

A new Mexican restaurant opened Wednesday in what used to be the… Continue reading

‘Sexually violent predator’ won’t be living on Whidbey

Island County’s first “sexually violent predator” will get to leave the special… Continue reading

Most Read