June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. We wanted to start the month with this captivating photo series entitled “Reflections”, by commercial advertising photographer Tom Hussey, that is both emotional and stirring. Hussey created the photo series originally as part of an advertising campaign for an Alzheimer’s drug company. However, his photographs have received much more attention, winning the Communication Arts Photography Annual 2010 Award.
Tussey’s images are an impactful reminder that the older person before you, who may be frail, forgetful, or moody, has lived a life that is not reflected on the outside of the physical body that you see today. Each individual has a story of a life lived. They were doctors, soldiers, teachers, mechanics, bankers, chefs, and more. They have seen triumph and joy, as well as deep sadness and desperation.
Sometimes as a care giver it is good to take a moment to be reminded of the story within the person you are caring for. Remembering their journey may provide a new outlook during difficult days, even when they no longer can. Remembering also returns a certain dignity to their being, as they haven’t always needed your help and they likely never wanted to become a burden. I encourage you to look deeply into the mirror in each of Tussey’s photos and see if you glimpse a reflection of the Alzheimer’s patient you are caring for as well.
Then tomorrow, look deeply into the eyes of your aging loved one and try to see the person they were in their youth. Let music and photographs be a tour of the years before. When you remember, you just might help them remember as well.
Written by Marci L. Hardy, PhD
Image credit: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_sowaandrzej’>sowaandrzej / 123RF Stock Photo</a>