People With Alzheimer's Share The Memories They Don't Want To Forget — VIDEO
I hope you have tissues ready, because this is a tough one. In a new video by Seattle-based digital production company Cut, six people with Alzheimer's share the memories they don't want to lose. Seeking to raise awareness for the cruel and invisible ailment which slowly destroys memories and thinking skills, this video shows the brave human face of the disease. Alzheimer's affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, and is currently ranked by the CDC as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Named after the doctor who discovered it in 1906, scientists still grapple with understanding the complex changes in the brain that lead to the disease's onset and advancement. Currently, there is no known cure.
The majority of people living with Alzheimer's are 65 and older, and according to the Alzheimer's Association, one in every nine people of that age group suffers from the disease. It is not just the older generations that are affected, as five percent of those diagnosed are in their 40s and 50s. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive disease, worsening over time until even the simplest tasks are difficult to perform.
In the face of a disease that robs people of their most precious assets, this video "On Memory" aims to highlight the unique experiences of six individuals, and celebrate their memories and lives. The four minute film is touching, sad, and beautiful. Through a series of interviews we meet a group of men and women ages 49 through 75 all whom have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's at some point in the last six years. They are asked to describe in detail their first memory, last memory, saddest memory, and first kiss. Filmed in a close-up so tight that the camera hugs them, the subjects share touching recollections of playing as carefree children.
Most subjects had difficulty with the recall of their "last" or most recently-formed memory. One of the most prevalent early symptoms of Alzheimer's is difficulty with the recall of new information, as well as finding or remembering words.
When the filmmakers asked them to describe their first kiss, the memory brought a smile to everyone's faces and some much needed levity.
The first kisses seemed universally "not magical."
When discussing their saddest memory, all of the Interviewees mentioned the loss of a member or their family, either a parent or child. When finally asked to describe something that they "never want to forget," each person had an immediate and strikingly similar answer. The memory that was most precious wasn’t their greatest success, or most exciting experience — it was the memory of those they love. The names and faces of their children, husbands, wives and the years they have spent together.
Hear all the touching memories by watching the entire video here:
To learn more about Alzheimer's and to find out how you can help, visit the Alzheimer's Association website.
Images: WatchCut Video/YouTube