We're gonna need a bigger movie.
I'm a first time filmmaker. Wanna join me in this endeavor by being a first time film star? C'mon, let me make you an offer you can't refuse. Wine, Women, and Dementia has three parts of the film that would benefit from your participation! You feeling lucky, punk?
#1 Here's looking at you, kid.
"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, [dementia] walks into mine." ~ Rick Blaine; Played by Humphrey Bogart in the film Casablanca (This quote is... eh, close enough.)
When Mom died so many of you participated in sending up a "Cheers!" to her, your dementia person, and yourselves that I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and it was a powerful tool to kick off my healing spree (which incidentally has ground to a halt, but that's fodder for another time).
I want to end the film with that same compelling feeling of caregivers celebrating their dementia people, and themselves, for showing up for the ride, whether the journey is ongoing or has ended.
Would you pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, shimmy up to your favorite dementia person (or least favorite depending on how your caregiver day is going), turn your phone sideways (landscape mode), and film yourselves doing the following:
Send up a "Cheers!" to your dementia person or people, whether they are currently giving you one helluva sleepless night or have already moved on to their next adventure (in which case a photo of them that you cherish is just as wonderful to include in the clip).
Send up a "Cheers!" to yourself, for your caregiver successes, your caregiver fails, your caregiver courage, and most of all, for your caregiver heart. You didn't ask dementia to walk into your gin joint, but you've entertained it anyway to the best of your ability - you deserve a toast.
#2 A Day at the Races
I have been filming my family for decades, and Mom in particular throughout our dementia years.
We have a b-roll overload of Driving Miss Gloria round and round the dementia track (including some epic crashes), so we could sure use some other dementia household faces!
If you feel comfortable capturing some celluloid magic of you and your dementia loved one making your way through a caregiver day that would be fantastic and oh so useful for us.
Again, turn your phone sideways (landscape mode), and film yourselves going through a typical dementia activity either at home or while visiting with them, fixing dinner or eating a meal, going on a walk, taking a drive, getting gussied up for the day, downing the pills, doing a puzzle, snuggling and/or fleeing in distress - okay, that one might just be me, a day at the dementia races often had me running for cover.
#3 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
"Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
Hatchette Books, 2003
I don't believe Mr. Rogers was talking about dementia when he wrote the above words of wisdom but he might as well have been!
It is a mighty struggle to love and accept your dementia person who is not in the mood to love and accept anything in their world, including your devotion and sacrifice. However, it's what dementia caregivers are doing all over the world.
And we'd like to illustrate that point with b-roll of neighborhoods all over the world. Take a slow drive or a long walk around the blocks where you live and send us a video of the flavor of your neighborhood - homes where everyday people struggle with the act of love, dementia or otherwise.
I hope you will help us out with any or all three of the options above! Two tips...
Turn your phone sideways! Landscape orientation is the bomb, y'all!
Use WeTransfer to send the files to firstname.lastname@example.org. WeTransfer is free, incredibly easy, and doesn't require you to create an account. Plus, it will not compress your files, so the video quality we get will be the same that you see on your screen.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out either in the blog comments below or email me at email@example.com - your participation would mean the world to me! So get to filming this weekend and send me what you come up with!