The new documentary Beyond Memory is an intimate revelation of what it's like to live with dementia, or to love someone with this disease.
The five individuals and families profiled in the film offer an essential lesson about living each day. Elaine, diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at just 47, works to keep her brain active, and becomes the first known Canadian with Alzheimer's to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. A 1950s rhythm & blues star, 82-year-old Milton can't remember the words to songs but can still show off the dance moves that first attracted his wife, Ruby. George gave up his job and moved home when his mother's memory failed. He patiently reminds her of all the important details in her life, save one: Alberta's forgotten she has Alzheimer's. Gord, a former Revelstoke maintenance supervisor for CP Rail, works closely with his wife, Claudia, to make plans for his future. And, suffering from a rare and fast-moving form of dementia, 57-year-old Dede has pretty much had her memory wiped clean. Yet, when her husband, Gerry, enters the room, she smiles. Her connection to him has survived her memory.
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Beyond Memory: A Documentary About Dementia, Sharon Bartlett & Maria LeRose, provided by the National Film Board of Canada