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Posts tagged "memory loss"

Adult Children Making Powerful Legacy Videos with and About Their Aging Parents with Dementia

Posted by Leonard on April, 5, 2017

The 2 videos below are different kinds of legacy or end of life videos. In these beautiful and sad videos, 2 adult children explore their parent’s aging process. More specifically they share their parent’s increasing dementia and memory loss.

In the video above, an old father can’t remember his family members, his life from day to day or other recent events but when his son takes him driving and plays the songs he sang throughout his career as a musician, the words are all there and he comes alive joyfully singing and returning to his old self. The son has begun using the videos he records to raise money to record an album with his dad singing and all proceeds going toward supporting The Alzheimers Society. So far he’s raised $163,000.

From his website:
I’m fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society because of the advice they’ve given us in the last few years. Without them we would have had very little idea or support about how to deal with even the basics of Dad’s condition.
The more Alzheimer’s kicked in, the more Dad became violent – both physically and verbally – it was incredibly difficult to manage. And terrifying at times.

Alzheimer’s Society provide a telephone helpline to sufferers and their families. I cannot begin to describe how a stranger’s voice at the end of the phoneline helped when things got really bad.

Dad was a singer throughout his life – he was a Butlin’s Redcoat and then travelled around singing in clubs around the country. He worked in a factory when he got married and did the occasional bit of singing on side. His nickname is The Songaminute Man – simply because of how many songs he knows.

In the last few years his memory has deteriorated a lot – often not recognising me as his son. Its a horrible illness.However, now when we’ve got him singing again he’s back in the room. It’s these moments that we treasure.

The plan is to share as much of Dad’s singing as we can and hopefully it will help raise money to fund the work of the Alzheimer’s Society – more specifically to go towards paying for a person at the end of the phoneline to help other people like us.

The other video doesn’t have the same feel good thread, but is a very authentic and painful window into how it feels to see his aging mother lose her memory and even the awareness of who her son is to her.

A Son Documents His Mother's Increasing Dementia in Video Series from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

To learn more about the projects visit:
http://www.songaminuteman.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6tmams7km6i0O9m9m3MP0Q
http://www.facebook.com/songaminute

https://www.youtube.com/c/joejoe
https://mollysmovement.com/

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Silver Kite – A Seattle Intergenerational Community Arts Program

Posted by Leonard on February, 20, 2017

I enjoyed the opportunity to spend this morning with the folks at Silver Kite, a Seattle intergenerational community arts program. They’re doing great things using art as a vehicle for connecting across generations and cultures, promoting social change and bringing people together. They also offer professional development workshops for older adult service providers and educators in arts leadership, and intergenerational programming. A mutual friend had introduced me to the founder/director Jen Kulik who shared with me her personal story around the birth of Silver Kite and what’s at the heart of their work. One of the coolest projects they have is something called the Spark Box, which is a subscription based art box with materials and activities that prompt the creation of artworks with personal storytelling exercises. I think it’s a beautiful idea and was happy to see examples of what the boxes contain. It’s amazing to me that Silver Kite offers classes in graphic memoir, visual and digital storytelling, dementia friendly poetry and storytelling and so much more. Intergenerational theater programs are also one core piece of their work, both leading exercises and performances with youth and elders acting together. And they bring the exercises and games to the community, to libraries, assisted living communities and nursing homes around the Seattle area. Very impressive work. To learn more, visit their class listings page at http://www.silverkite.us/arts-with-older-adults

Studies have shown participation in the arts is beneficial to older adults’ self-esteem, socialization, communication skills, and emotional health.

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