Dementia UK has launched its first ever animated film to showcase just how devastating the condition can be, not just for the person diagnosed but for their loved ones also.
The three-minute long animated film “Together Again” depicts just how challenging dementia can be, and cleverly has portrayed the disease as a crashing, stormy sea that wreaks utter havoc. However, the characters; a lady with dementia, her loving husband and their kindly Admiral Nurse find their way through- and thanks to her specialist training the nurse is able to emotionally reconnect the couple.
Warning, don’t watch this if you’re feeling really upset, or having a particularly difficult day because you’ll be reduced to tears in five seconds. The imagery is absolutely beautiful, a muted mix of greys, blues and browns while the soundtrack is haunting and provides the perfect backdrop for the scene.
The film opens with a lonely old man standing on the beach, right at the water’s edge and staring sadly at the lighthouse in the distance.
His wife sits, alone at the top of the lighthouse and is lost in her own thoughts, unable to reach out. Suddenly a boat appears! The Admiral Nurse, clearly identified by the badge pinned to her tunic, uses her blue coat as a sail and guides them through the stormy waters of dementia to reach his wife. It’s not all plain sailing mind, the waves get very high, the rain pours down and the old man finds himself losing hope but eventually the waves calm and they reach the other side.
Along the way, they uncover his wife’s possessions: a beloved record, a favourite shawl and a photograph of the two as a young couple. Up in the lighthouse, his wife is waiting, but unable to recognise herself and so flinches when touched. The photograph is placed into her hands, the green shawl around her shoulders and still nothing. Her husband bows his head, the lamp flickers out and for a few moments, the couple sits in darkness. Until the Admiral Nurse puts their record on. His wife recalls the tune, places her hand on his and smiles as she remembers who he is. The couple embraces and slowly dance in the lamplight – Together Again.
It’s a simply gorgeous piece of animation but more than that it gives hope to those who are fighting through storms of their own. No one need face dementia alone, and there are dozens of charities out there offering advice and support. No matter what your circumstances, specialist dementia nurses are there to help and have received extensive training about how to reconnect families ripped apart by dementia. Together we’re stronger, and it’s much easier to deal with the harder things in life with a good support system. Here at the Dementia Cafe, we’re all about teamwork as well as knowing that a problem shared is a problem halved. So should any of our readers need our help just get in touch.
You can call the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, staffed entirely by specialist dementia Admiral Nurses, on 0800 888 6678, 9am-9pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-5pm on weekends or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org