If there is anything that I have learned on this journey, it’s that Dementia is viewed in three different ways. One, you ignore it because it’s not something that affects you directly. Two, someone in your life is living with it, or has died from it. Three, it is something you are terrified of getting. As many want to believe that, “there are so many more important diseases to focus on..” or “It just effects old people..” they are just facilitating this pandemic to grow until sooner, rather than later it will be all of our problem. Every four seconds, someone is diagnosed with a form of Dementia. We can all keep pretending that it’s not a big deal, but the reality is people are suffering from this disease due to a lack of general information and access to proper care.
There are very small groups of passionate people, who without proper funding and a huge lack of resources make an impressive impact in their community. They are the National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Associations, made up of mostly volunteers that take it upon themselves to educate their communities about Dementia without proper support from their government. People with Dementia do not need a state of the art facility or luxurious settings. What they need is compassion, patience, and quality care. There are countless patients that are cared for by people that have no idea what is wrong with them. There are many governments in the world that’s health ministries do not recognize Dementia as a serious disease. This is something that has to change.
My name is Leah Beach, and I am a photographer who is trying to change the perspective of how people live with Dementia around the world. The purpose of this project is to ultimately become a resource so patients, families, rural communities, health ministries, western nations, and governments can better understand this disease. This group of photographs will discover how patients live in the most rural areas, also in complicated social situations, and also help discover the most innovative treatment methods. These photographs will prove that Dementia is a pandemic that has to be taken seriously, and there must be a global change. Together, we can fight this disease by investing in educating every person possible, regardless of where they live.