Photographer Carmen Buck Preserves Memories for Alzheimer’s Patients Through Photography
There are approximately 7.5 billion people in the world. Of those, 4.4 million have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International. More than 5 million of these are Americans who are living with Alzheimer’s.
It is predicted by 2050 these numbers could go as high as 16 million. Currently, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US, and it is also the only disease on the list that could not be prevented or cured.
With these alarming facts about Alzheimer’s, one woman from Austin, Texas understood the value of capturing memories before they were gone, especially to people who have loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s.
Carmen Buck: A photographer who preserves Alzheimer's memories
A lifestyle and humanitarian photographer from Austin, Texas, Carmen Buck, took interest in preserving the memories of families whose loved ones have been affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. She has a master’s degree in nursing that focuses on health and spirituality. Two of her passions are healing and connection through storytelling and photography. She is also an international speaker and author on topics of photography and spirituality.
As a nurse practitioner for 40 years, she witnessed how important it is to build connections with patients, especially during the trying time period of Alzheimer's. She made it her personal mission to help family members, as well as caregivers, to find meaning and purpose during difficult times. In fact, she has written a book entitled, “Just See Me-Sacred Stories from the Other Side of Dementia”. It is scheduled to be released early this year. She means to help people capture their precious moments, not just for Alzheimer’s cases but also for dementia.
According to Carmen Buck, most of the families with Alzheimer’s disease patients don’t know how to honor and create worthwhile memories with their loved ones. At first, families were reluctant to take photos. However, things changed when they saw the pictures. They did not realize how priceless the moments with their loved ones are until they saw their portraits.
Most caregivers are wives, daughters, sons, and husbands who are giving care to their loved ones because there is a need to do so. With the goal of providing unpaid care for their loved one, oftentimes they forget to value the moments that they live with. These moments will pass by. What better way to relive these beautiful memories than to see pictures. The aim of taking photographs is to preserve the memories before any unexpected turn of events take place. Being a holistic nurse practitioner for 40 years, specializing in Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, Carmen Buck knew too well how important capturing moments were.