Stories From the Other Side of Dementia
It is my dream to provide beautiful portraits for our elderly with a focus on those suffering with Dementia. I'm a nurse practitioner, and I specialized in the care of those with Dementia and related diseases. I couldn't help but notice the paucity of portraits capturing the personality and beauty of the people I care so much for.
The Genesis of Just See Me-
Sacred Stories from the Other Side of Dementia
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Just See Me- Sacred Stories from the Other side of Dementia is a project/book about families living with Dementia. It's a culmination of 8-12 stories of families and the love that they have for one another. Their stories range from when they first learned that they or their loved one had the disease to how they manage day to day. Very interesting themes have emerged! Just See Me- Sacred Stories from the Other side of Dementia 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. Just See Me is about the many expressions of love and will certainly entertain, inspire and open your heart.
In the early 1990s, and I was Mom to a 7 year old, worked full time, and took classes for my Master’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I was given an assignment to give a talk about hope as it relates to health care. A talk about hope and healthcare seemed like a mountain. Then, I found volumes of Journal of Holistic Nursing which is the official journal of American Holistic Nurses Association. The mother-ship had called me home. I couldn’t get enough! I have been a member of American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) since then. Holistic nursing is defined as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal” (American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998, Description of Holistic Nursing).
Holistic nursing is an attitude, a philosophy and a way of being. It’s not specifically WHAT we do. It’s HOW we are. Holistic nursing honors the total person including the body, mind, emotion, spirit, social/cultural, relationship, context and environment. Holistic Nursing is a specialty practice. I became certified in Holistic Nursing in 1999. It just seems to make sense that I would take 37 years of caring, lift the beauty that resides in the pain and document that in words and images. This is the genesis of Just See Me- Sacred Stories from the Other side of Dementia.
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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!