Sounds nightmarish and frightening.
What if you realized that that was happening to your husband, wife or mother?
Memories help make us who we are and we often define ourselves by the people around us. Before we forget is an online effort by two young local filmmakers Jeremy Boo and Lee Xian Jie which was started to raise awareness on Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases which often rob people of their sense of self, or the loved ones whom they have come to know.
Part of their effort includes an hour long documentary showcasing a snapshot of the lives of two women afflicted with cognitive difficulties. Celine Fernandez has been diagnosed with dementia 7 years ago, and is looked after full-time by her daughter, Joyce. Dr Irene Giam, was filmed shortly after being diagnosed with a mild cognitive impairment as part of an autoimmune disease which was affecting her respiratory system. Conversations with the family are interwoven between snippets of their day to day trials and tribulations, moments that bring to light how much the loss of an extremely complex but so often taken for granted ability of our minds affects not just the person with the disease, but the people who care for and love them.
The film will be made available online late next year, but you can watch a series of short clips on their website on other families and even submit your own experience with dementia to them.
The two filmmakers, who have also started their own company, Hachisu, seek to spread the word on dementia and have plans for more films on the same subject. Before we forget is supported by Lien Foundation’s Life before Death campaign.
Incidentally, September 21st marks World Alzheimer’s Day and various countries around the world are participating in activities to spread awareness of the disease.
In Singapore, the Alzheimer’s Disease Association will be holding a Walk for Dementia 2011 on the 9th of October along East Coast Park. Walk for Dementia is a part of the global Memory Walk® initiative where participants walk in memory of their loved ones with Dementia or in support of Dementia awareness.
More information is available at: