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. 1 in 2 people don't know what to do to help people with dementia and want to know more. This was uncovered in a Dementia Australia survey and, along with Article 25 of the Human Rights Charter, inspired the documentary. The film seeks to inform and empower people now as well as future generations with real ways of interacting with dementia and making a difference. It begins with awareness, activism and advocacy.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
Raise awareness - inspire activism - generate advocacy.
We also speak to the survey result: ‘1 in 2 people don’t know how to talk to a person with dementia but would like to know more’ by exploring artistic, compassionate approaches to dementia care.
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?
We aim to demystify dementia by increasing awareness of dementia management tools. Currently only 50% of Australians understand how to care for someone with dementia. We want to increase this to 75% 12 months after the first screening.
The Royal Commission into Aged (and dementia) Care provides a timely impetus for conversation about essential changes that government and industry need to make such as staffing education, pay rates and numbers on site.
On an individual level, the audience can see in the documentary demonstrated ways of how not to engage with dementia, as evidenced by Renée's failings with her own father that the documentary shows repeated in her interaction with another person living with dementia. Recognizing this, Renée learns better ways to engage with dementia resulting in stronger, meaningful connections. This is revealed in 3 settings - an urban dementia care home, a regional nursing home and an urban art class.
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.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We continue to seek partnerships with innovative companies in the aged care sector to collaborate in development and allow us to be messengers for positive change and innovation in the industry. Relationships forged already include Dementia Australia, COTA, Carers Australia - some have donated funds which has enabled production and helped the documentary into post production. This is our current stage as at April 2021 with a timeline of final export December 2021.
Please contact [email protected] for more information.
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 and social platforms