Organisational storytellers: Alzheimer's Association
This video takes a look at the Alzheimer's Association Digital storytelling project.
[MUSIC PLAYING] -When we came in here to do it, I wrote a script for him because I wasn't sure how he could express himself. Because he was going away from me pretty quickly.
MAX OLIVER (NARRATING): The reason for creating this brief snapshot of my life is I'm very proud of your achievement individually. And I hope your future will be bright. I would like to think that there will still be more of those happy times to come.
-As a counselor, I might sit with somebody and talk to them about what's happening and the impact of the dementia. But we never capture that on film or on audio. In lots of ways, it's lost to the broader public.
NOEL MARGARET OLIVER (NARRATING): It was during this time that poor Grandpa started to have trouble with his memory. In 1999 our doctor said that Grandpa should see a specialist. But it just got worse. This must have been difficult for you and Emily because you didn't understand what was happening to Grandpa. The diagnosis was Alzheimer's.
-The participants said to me after, when it was all finished and they had the production of the digital story, that it really enabled them to one, go into their photo albums and to more clearly think about what sorts of things their family member had achieved in their life. I guess the sorts of things they were really proud of, the shared memories that they had. So it actually provided an opportunity to reflect together about the experiences that they'd had in life, and then capture that in the digital story format.
PATTY HODDER (NARRATING): The relentless loss of physical independence and mental competence is devastating. And yet he remains optimistic. He is dealing with his disease, relying on the qualities he has used throughout his life to achieve and overcome difficulties.
-So we read the stories. Well, that was very, very emotional as we read these. I could barely read it, even though it was only a four-minute grab.
And I remember reading it through, and I got to the end and the tears were streaming down my face. And Robin looked at me and recognised that I was upset. And I remember him putting his arms round me and saying, "It's all right, darling. It's all right." [LAUGHS]
-I thought it was terrific. [LAUGHS] Because I thought it was a sort of almost a catharsis. Because here I am, helping him to say how he felt, for him to express it in his own words, which was difficult for him. And it was a way of communicating with other people.
MAX OLIVER (NARRATING): I was able to fulfill a dream of mine, and that was to be able to fly an airplane. An achievement that I'm really proud of because I never, ever got lost.
NOEL MARGARET OLIVER (NARRATING): [LAUGHS]
BRUCE PERHAM (NARRATING): People fed back to me just what a wonderful experience it was and how unique it was and how they valued it, really valued it. And I think with ACMI being able to provide the technical expertise, we couldn't have done it without that.
-And they had an international conference here. And they used our DVD to open the conference. And we're sitting in the theater with about 500 people and the lights went down, and on came Max. And he's like, "That's me!" [LAUGHS]