BLOOMINGTON, Ind., June 24, 2019 /CNW/ -- A new documentary "Love Is Listening: Dementia Without Loneliness" was released on Amazon PRIME on June 26 featuring celebrated Canadians, Jean Vanier, recently deceased, and Dr. Sue Johnson. The documentary demonstrates that loneliness need not be the inevitable condition of people with dementia. The film is produced by Memory Bridge, that also produced, "There Is a Bridge," which aired on PBS in 2007.
The documentary aims to raise public awareness of the impact that genuinely meaningful communication has on the lives of people with dementia. "The basic core of who we are is never completely shut down in dementia," Johnson says. "We still need someone to reach for us so we know we are not alone."
Internationally-recognized authorities in art, science and spiritual traditions explore how the quality of our listening to people with dementia is the most important aspect of our care for them.
While 70 percent of people know someone with dementia, research shows that many people "worry about what to say" to those with this condition. "Love Is Listening" demonstrates a new way of being with people who have dementia. It shows how to turn an awkward exchange into one that flows, is intimate, and combats loneliness through companionship.
"The people who disturb us the most are our most important teachers," Vanier says. "At the bottom of the social ladder are those who have been rejected. Their presence obliges us to look more deeply into our own lives. We discover that the fundamental thread to be loved is in everybody."
This is the last film in which Jean Vanier appears. Vanier, who died on May 7, was a theologian, philosopher, and globally heralded humanitarian. In 1964, he founded L'Arche, an international federation of communities spread over 37 countries, for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. Dr. Johnson's work in the psychology of human bonding, attachment theory, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is influential world-wide. In 2017, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to Canada.
In addition to Jean Vanier and Dr. Sue Johnson, the cast includes: Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world's premiere solo percussionist who has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12; Naomi Feil who developed "Validation," a method of working with severely disoriented elderly people taught around the world; and Michael Verde, the founder of the non-profit organization Memory Bridge.
A diagnosis of dementia can predict the beginning of a life of profound loneliness. That no longer needs to be the case. We can learn to communicate in ways that dementia does not impede.
"We can be with people with dementia, and they with us," says Johnson. "We need each other like we need oxygen."
About Memory Bridge:Founded in 2004, Memory Bridge is a non-profit foundation that exists to end the emotional isolation of people with dementia. To date, it's connected more than 8,500 people with and without dementia in one-to-one relationships. Its multiple award-winning educational programs are hosted on three continents by dementia caregivers, hospices and schools.
For more information: https://www.memorybridge.org
SOURCE Memory Bridge
For further information: Michael Verde of Memory Bridge, +1-812-219-6118, [email protected], https://www.memorybridge.org