As a caregiver to my 90-year-old grandmother who has advanced Alzheimer's, a type of dementia, I am creating a photo documentary of our experiences. Watching this disease destroy the person she once was isn’t easy, nor is it pleasant for her to live in a state of constant confusion and distress. My mother and I, as her caregivers, also face challenges of patience, readjusting expectations, and prioritizing our own self-care. My grandma cannot remember who her family members are, doesn’t recognize her possessions, and needs step-by-step instructions for everyday tasks - challenges typical across the dementia experience. My photos create awareness of and address these common aspects of the disease in a way that is respectful of her dignity, focusing on objects or scenes rather than on her person. These photos are black and white, signifying a sense of removal from the reality and vibrance of a life previously lived.
Copyright © 2020 Katie Benson. All rights reserved.