After losing her artist-father to Alzheimer’s, a woman confronts how she failed him and in the light of a politically-charged Royal Commission, risks her career & dignity to find out if she too has early signs of the disease.
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
With dementia being the leading cause of death in Australian women, we need to engage in more positive ways with what diagnosis can mean. Through our documentary we have collaborated with people living with dementia and their partners and identified a need for "dementia safe places" in shopping centres and education of centre staff so as they know what to do if a person with dementia becomes lost or disoriented. This is the main focus of our impact campaign along with community screenings.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
We seek to change social and cultural attitudes to dementia care offering concrete ways to engage with the condition improving and maintaining relationships we treasure.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
INDIVIDUAL CHANGE: Demystify dementia care for families by spotlighting attitudes that support independence.
ORGANISATION CHANGE: Shift culture to dementia as a disability that can be managed not a death sentence. Enable people with dementia to maintain independence. Lobby for and give voice to action on the recommended changes of the Royal Commission as soon as possible.
SUPPORT GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS: Link and supercharge community networks to lobby for a change in Australian shopping centres for people living with dementia and their families so as to help with the anxiety of their visits there.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
An increase in awareness will be achieved through scale of distribution with free-to-air TV, social media and community outreach amongst aged care providers and carers.
Our impact team will work with local dementia groups and key shopping centre chains to establish safe spaces and an education program. One suburbs at a time, we will accelerate the push for dementia-friendly neighbourhoods for all.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We continue to talk with the lived experience support groups, corporates and knowledge leaders in dementia care. Relationships forged already include Dementia Australia, COTA, Carers Australia, Dementia Alliance and smaller grass roots groups such as DCaf West Pymble. DCaf had initiated a "safe space" project with their local council but it had come to a stand still. We were touched by the terrifying stories of losing their loved ones in malls and the tragic case of Bernard Gore who was lost in Westfields Bondi Junction and found dead 3 weeks later behind an unlocked door in a fire escape. Hundreds of people and staff would have seen Bernard walking the centre confused but no one helped. We have spoken to many individuals and this is a common theme that we want to support a solution for.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
Actions include finding ways to make a difference locally by increasing the amount of kindness shown to people with dementia - learning how to be in the present moment with them as dementia creates shifting realities and time zones.
A big lesson Renée learns is that by letting go of the past and just being with a person with dementia, she can go on remarkable, revealing and moving journeys with them. By working with symptoms of dementia instead of pushing against them or trying to control them, a more loving, secure connection can be maintained. Fear of loss can be lessened if we focus on what we have in the now. It's the little things that make big differences in people's lives. It sounds like a cliché because it's true.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
From the first screenings of the documentary we will measure awareness of dementia management tools/techniques. These include surveys before and after screenings measuring shifts and differences in awareness - generating data we can share with government, private enterprise stakeholders in dementia care and local community groups.
We'll see evidence of the vision impact being achieved via reports from partners - success stories shared on the Ticketyboo website, social platforms and broad media.