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Posts tagged "memory"

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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2 Ways We Frame Our Personal Narrative, Redemptive and Contamination Stories

Posted by Leonard on November, 29, 2016

In the work I do at Loving Legacy Video, I show up without much prior knowledge of the life my clients have lived. Sure we have the opportunity ahead of time to discuss areas they’d like to highlight or avoid in the video, but for the most part, the discussion is lead by the direction they take our interview. I listen well and dive into the things that are being presented, but people tell their story, they craft their won personal narrative and they have choices about how they want this document to reflect their experience. I found this Ideas.Ted.Com article to be insightful when considering how people choose to tell stories about the life they’ve lived.

“In his interviews, he asks research subjects to divide their lives into chapters and to recount key scenes, such as a high point, a low point, a turning point or an early memory. He encourages participants to think about their personal beliefs and values. Finally, he asks them to reflect on their story’s central theme. He has discovered interesting patterns in how people living meaningful lives understand and interpret their experiences. People who are driven to contribute to society and to future generations, he found, are more likely to tell redemptive stories about their lives, or stories that transition from bad to good. There was the man who grew up in dire poverty but told McAdams that his hard circumstances brought him and his family closer together. There was the woman who told him that caring for a close friend as the friend was dying was a harrowing experience, but one that ultimately renewed her commitment to being a nurse, a career she’d abandoned. These people rate their lives as more meaningful than those who tell stories that have either no or fewer redemptive sequences.”

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