Photo project to mark World Alzheimer’s Day

World Alzheimer’s Day is to be held on September 21st and to mark the event a special photography project has been commissioned this year.

Organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, people affected by dementia have recreated old photographs of themselves to encourage others to join the Alzheimer’s Society’s fundraising Memory Walks.

It is thought that old photographs are one of a number of things that can help to trigger memories and past feelings for people with dementia.

Keith Oliver, 64, from Canterbury is one of those who has enjoyed the challenge, saying it helped him return to his childhood. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease almost 10 years ago.

Keith Oliver
Keith Oliver recreated a photograph of him painting when he was a boy (Keith Oliver/Alzheimer’s Society/PA)

“It’s been a while since I painted, even though it was my favourite thing to do as a young boy, but me and my grandson sometimes paint toy soldiers together. Recreating this photo has been a wonderful way of returning, if only for a little while, to my own childhood.”

Keith Oliver

Christine Seddon, 69, from London, chose a photo of her and her partner Victor, 75, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier in 2020.

Christine Seddon and her partner, Victor
Christine Seddon and her partner, Victor (Christine Seddon/Alzheimer’s Society/PA)

“This photo means a great deal to me as it was taken at a working men’s club in Tottenham – this was the place where we first laid eyes on each other in 1970 . The rest is history – we’ve now been together for 50 years and have two children.

This was the place we had lunch on our wedding day, where we held our children’s birthday parties, where Vic and I went to the most amazing dances – the room was always full of laughter and loved ones. “

Christine Seddon

To raise money towards its vital work to support those living with dementia the Alzheimer’s Society is asking people to complete a Memory Walk. The charity has lost many of its opportunities for fundraising and is predicting that by the end of this year, as much as half of its annual income could have vanished.

Kate Lee, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The now-and-then photos show the importance of cherished memories for people affected by dementia, and are such a vital way to ensure each and every person is seen and remembered as an individual.”

“Memory Walk is the perfect way not only to think back on your own favourite memories of people affected by dementia, but also to raise much-needed funds for Alzheimer’s Society. During the pandemic our services have never been in greater demand, but, with our Memory Walk season unable to take place as it normally would, we urgently need your help to help others.”

You can take part in a Memory Walk in households or in socially distanced groups of up to six that fit in with the current coronavirus guidelines. To find out more visit the Memory Walk website.

Source: The Falmouth Packet 14/09/20