PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Ending and The Beginning

The last member of the Documentary Crew left this morning and while I am happy to have the condo to myself after a week of sharing it with four college kids (smiley face with tongue hanging out and eyes crossed) I miss them and their wonderful energy already!

The field work ended yesterday with a couple hours worth of interviews in the morning. Now their work has really just begun. They will review all their film footage, notes, interviews, stills, photographs, music, etc and attempt to put together a 10-15 minute documentary dealing with one of the 5 million stories out there about Alzheimer's Disease.

Since I was already raw emotionally at having re-visited many of the sorrowful and joyful memories of the last ten years for the team, I decided to watch "Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory." 

It is a very powerful documentary looking at the "hospital model" of caring for the aged and those with dementia and the use of music to help return Alzheimer's patients from isolation, loneliness, dependence, and sorrow back to some of their memories and joy.

Watching the movie reminded me that Gregory and my story is only one of so many stories which are even more difficult for those who do not have loved ones to care for them, to remind them of who they are and who they were, to support them.

I so enjoyed working with this wonderful crew: intelligent, thoughtful, sensitive, respectful, creative, and fun. The kids (I can call them that as a 70 year old man while their ages range between 18 and 22!) came into the project with a limited and possibly skewed understanding of what Alzheimer's and other dementias do to a person and to the people who love them.

I know they left with a more thorough, compassionate understanding and that this will be portrayed in their work. I look forward to seeing the completed documentary, will try to attend the screening at Chapman in May, and will organize screenings for Lieberman, CJE, and family and friends.

Here are a few candids of their work while in Evanston:

Gabe was the first to arrive

Documenting the neighborhood

At Navy Pier to visit Michael's Museum 

In the Art Studio with Katharine 

Visiting Gregory outside his room

Interviews in the condo 

Monica, Michael, Amanda, Gabe, and Riani

The "kids" making me a birthday batch of cookies

A standing joke about the documentary: 

Documenting me entering a blog post

Visiting with Gregory in his room 

Visiting with Gregory downstairs in the Great Room

The kids had a chance to enjoy Chicago

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