By Debbie le Quesne

Alzheimer’s: Perhaps the most powerful care video I’ve seen

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It’s not often I’m drawn to advertisements on the internet unless I’m looking for some thing specific.

But I dropped into the Care Industry News site to begin my week and clicked on a Remember When: Alzheimer’s Story – and here I am trying my very best not to weep as I drink my coffee.

The internet is full of resources for those caring for those with this memory-lpss condition. But this short film – just over five minutes long – is so poignant, so simple yet profound in its message and so gut=wrenchingly sad.

The storyboard is a simple cameo of a young couple – not much beyond 30 – and they’re sitting on a bench waiting for their daughter to arrive home on the school bus.

And there they sit with the wife steering her husband through an album of photographs of life that has been devastated by this cruel condition. The youngest person diagnosed is just 29. The film character is 30 – come on Debbie pull yourself together – my keyboard is wet with tears.

Maybe it’s because it’s nearly Christmas when emotions are sometimes raw, maybe it’s because I lost my own father to this disease, or perhaps the enormity of the implications of this problem have momentarily overwhelmed me.

The role of Andrew, father and husband, sees a damaged musician struggling to recall when and how the milestones in his life were formed. And in a few moments of lucid thought, he recalls it was on the very same bench he learned he was to be a dad . . . You need to watch this Youtube offering to catch the power of its message, but there’s one memory development where the man inquires of his young daughter: “How long has it been since I asked her how her day was?”

With a minimalist script the devastation of this couple’s experience is laid bare,

Be warned, watching this is not an easy way to begin a Monday, but it’s five minutes of essential viewing for every single person involved in caring for those whose memories are horribly compromised. As people in the care sector busied by the needs of the work we do, sometimes we forget, or simply don’t know what lives some residents had and the impact of what brought them into our care on their loved-ones.

The soundtrack song leaves a wife’s lament playing in my head: “How I’d love one more waltz with you, but I’m afraid I missed my chance,” it goes.

I wander if my mum thought that of dad?

I challenge you to watch this footage and not be moved. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1O8HEWrQCI

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