Autumn Leaves Anniversary

Autumn Leaves NW Austin 1st Anniversary Celebration

I was honored to be present, celebrate AND take pictures at Autumn Leaves Northwest Austin's First Anniversary party!  The theme was Parisian with music, beautiful art, exquisite food, new and old friends and a lot of LOVE!  I'm not just throwing that word around...the LOVE was palpable.  I enjoyed meeting families and staff members as well as people from the senior care community of Austin.  How WONDERFUL to see familiar faces!

Considering memory care is a very difficult decision.  There are so many factors and by the time families decide that it is best for their loved one, they've been through SO MUCH heartache.  With that being said, I heard over and over how much peace of mind they have knowing their loved one is cared for in a safe and loving environment.   So much can be said for choosing the best living arrangements and perhaps that'll be for a future blog post.

Many of you know that I've been a nurse for 37 years and NP for 16 of those.  I still can't believe it has been that long!  Nurses know how to listen and connect, and this has certainly helped me in my photography career.  Many of my years as a nurse and nurse practitioner were spent in care of the elderly and helping them to manage life with dementia.  I'm completing a book telling the love stories of these beautiful families in both photos and written word.  Watch for that October 2016!  If you would consider contributing by sharing your own love story, please contact me.

 Autumn Leaves Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Assisted Living Communities are leaders in providing specialized memory care in a home-like environment. They incorporate practices that are specifically designed for individuals living with memory impairment.  There are several Autumn Leaves Memory Cares in TX and 7 other states.   

Thank you for allowing me to capture some memories for you and your families!  

Show some LOVE and leave a comment for the families and residents!  

Hope, Love and Being Better Everyday

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
— Havelock Ellis
Dot Albright Alone-28.jpg

Delightful Dot!

Dot and her daughters  are contributors to my upcoming book, Love Still Lives Here. 

I was blessed to meet with Dot and her 3 lovely daughters, Donna, Delaney and Delinda.  What beautiful stories they had to tell about growing up and growing older with their mother.  We chat. We took pictures.  We laughed.  We laughed a lot.  

I look for themes in the stories of families caring for their loved with dementia.  Dot's family had so much to share and as always, I learned  a lot about life.  Dot has done relatively well with her dementia and her daughter's recognized that there could be personality changes that are sometimes for the worse.  They feel very fortunate that Dot has, in fact, become more pleasant as her dementia has progressed.  Sundowning is a problem, but all has been manageable and they feel their mother is content.  What a gift!

This has given them  hope believing that perhaps aging isn't as scary as it might have been had they not witnessed their mother's graceful walk into old age.  Dot is 85, thought she certainly looks younger!


These ladies have love and joy and laughter.  An afternoon with them was pure joy.  Don't you see it in their faces?  

From left to right-Delinda, Donna, Delaney and sitting is Dot.

From left to right-Delinda, Donna, Delaney and sitting is Dot.

The expected publication date for my book,  Love Still Lives Here is September 2016.  You will learn more about this admirable family and walk away with a sense of awe.  Their stories ARE about HOPE, LOVE and BEING BETTER EVERY DAY!  Be sure and 'like' my Facebook page (Carmen Buck Photography), follow me on Instagram @CarmenBuckPhoto and Twitter @CBuckPhoto

I am so thrilled to tell you more about Dot.   You know this blog post is just a super short version, right?  Her daughters shared beautiful stories about Dot before she had dementia, once she was diagnosed and now.  The love and humor are so evident in the images, but you know I can't show those until the book is out!  Love Still Lives Here will be published by November, 2016.  At it's core, Love Still Lives Here is a book about the love in families and people with dementia.  After years of being in reverence of families caring for loved ones with dementia, I realized these stories of LOVE and DEVOTION need to be shared with the world.  These are the stories so rarely heard.  Love Still Lives Here is about the many expressions of love and will certainly entertain, inspire and open your heart.


Elder Remembrance Photography

 In my 37+ year nursing career, I often cared for elders who had no recent photos.  It wasn't unusual to see people in their 80s whose most recent photos were from their 40s and 50s.  When did our later years become a time not worthy of being memorialized?  Sure, elders aren't smoothed skinned anymore, but there is still that light, that smile, that expression that is so uniquely them.  Elder remembrance photography is about honoring our later years, and recognizing the beauty that is still there.  It's about seeing the love that families have for one another-even within the mundane everyday stuff.  It's my mission to bring Elder Remembrance Photography to life!  Watch for E-Books with simple tips about how to take great photos.  Add some stories about your loved one and you've got magic! Sign up to get updates!  

What I Learned Today

Mr. R and his wife are contributors to my upcoming book, Love Still Lives Here.

As many of you know, I am compiling stories of families who care for the loved ones with dementia.  These stories will become a book with...wait for it...yes...PHOTOS!   The title is 'Love Still Lives Here.'  

Mr R. may not remember what the month or year is or how long he has been married, but he can sure play the heck out of his harmonica.

Mr R. may not remember what the month or year is or how long he has been married, but he can sure play the heck out of his harmonica.

I met with a lovely couple today who have been married more than 50 years.  Mr. R is 72 years old and has had symptoms of dementia for many years.  He realized that he was having a difficult time being able to express himself in his work as a writer/journalist.  Things worsened for him and he was eventually not able to work anymore.  

When I asked him what he wanted to tell me about himself, he had a difficult time saying the words he wanted to, but he was able to tell me that he knew something serious was wrong fairly early on.  His attitude is so incredibly optimistic, he enjoys playing his harmonica, loves his wife and his dog, and his story is something you'll want to hear!

He and his lovely wife opened their home and heart to me.  Understandably, this was not easy for her.  She is struggling with caring for her husband while trying to tend to her own health issues.  She worries about the future.  She experiences isolation and pain.  She cares for her husband with a palpable love. 

I wish I could tell you more BUT you'll have to wait for the book!  Please leave some love for them in the COMMENTS section below.  


Love Still Lives Here

I am so thrilled to tell you more about Mr. R.   You know this blog post is just a super short version, right?  His wife shared beautiful stories about Mr R before he had dementia, once she was diagnosed and now.  The love is so evident in the images, but you know I can't show those until the book is out!  Love Still Lives Here will be published by November, 2016.  At it's core, Love Still Lives Here is a book about the love in families and people with dementia.  After years of being in reverence of families caring for loved ones with dementia, I realized these stories of LOVE and DEVOTION need to be shared with the world.  These are the stories so rarely heard.  Love Still Lives Here is about the many expressions of love and will certainly entertain, inspire and open your heart.

Elder Remembrance Photography

  In my 37+ year nursing career, I often cared for elders who had no recent photos.  It wasn't unusual to see people in their 80s whose most recent photos were from their 40s and 50s.  When did our later years become a time not worthy of being memorialized?  Sure, elders aren't smoothed skinned anymore, but there is still that light, that smile, that expression that is so uniquely them.  Elder remembrance photography is about honoring our later years, and recognizing the beauty that is still there.  It's about seeing the love that families have for one another-even within the mundane everyday stuff.  It's my mission to bring Elder Remembrance Photography to life!  Watch for E-Books with simple tips about how to take great photos.  Add some stories about your loved one and you've got magic!  Sign up for newsletter for regular updates!