We use stories to connect with each other every day.
A chat over a cup of tea, a hurried phone call to make plans, a discussion at dinner, and a decent yarn with friends when we get time to stop.
As we share memories and opinions back and forth, our bonds grow, and friendship and trust flourish.
But what happens when dementia strikes, especially if you are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease?
What happens when storytelling, the great lifeblood of human relationships, begins to weaken in us as dementia gradually saps us of this vital means of communication?
What happens after diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease?
Sadly, the fact is that we will begin being defined by dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
The carers who work with us, will see us as patients, rather than as a person who was once fully engaged with life and the community.
And new family members being born will be robbed of their access to the full version of our former selves.
So what can be done if you’ve just been diagnosed with dementia (or you know somebody who has)?
Early work in the UK, now being studied by the NHS, suggests that arranging for a biographical film to be made can have many benefits.
Firstly, by engaging My Video History while you’re still able to recall stories and communicate clearly, you’ll be able to capture some memories that will show you in your best light and give those who will follow you the best chance of meeting the pre-dementia version of you.
Secondly, having a well-made life history has been shown to rally extra and prolonged support among family and friends.
Thirdly, as dementia progresses and Alzheimer's disease takes hold, being able to watch your life story will reconnect you with emotions of joy and happiness, as has already been demonstrated in the UK.
And, finally, by making your My Video History story available to your carers, they will be able to get to know you better and forge a deeper bond with you.
How My Video History will work with you
My Video History has a gentle and thorough process to guide you through the storytelling experience so you can capture the most significant milestones of your life, along with anecdotes told in your own voice.
At all times, our aim is to capture the “real you”, something your friends, family, and family-members-to-be will treasure well into the future.
There is no doubt dementia is a cruel disease. And it’s one we know little about.
What we do know is that dementia patients will begin losing memories, then start losing the ability to recall faces, and finally lose the ability to grasp the right word at the right time.
In effect, we gradually become disconnected from our core; from the memories and hurts and loves and laughs that made us who we became.
But before you dismiss the idea of capturing your video history, consider this plea from Tracy, a young woman who lost her mum to dementia and lives with the regret that a vibrant tapestry of family stories has withered on the vine.
Of course, it is not possible to turn back time, so please consider contacting My Video History today, on (08) 8120 0300, to talk about our service and packages for people with dementia or its symptoms.
My Video History is here to keep your stories alive, for your own sake, and for the sake of those around you.