Doggies for Dementia: An Austin Photographer’s Initiative to Keep Loneliness at Bay

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Not many photographers work with Alzheimer’s and dementia afflicted adults. Carmen Davailus Buck of Carmen’s Legacy Productions is striving to change that.

Doggies for Dementia first photo sessions were with Judy Malish who has Alzheimer's Disease and grand dog Maggie Moo.

Alzheimer's Disease is an epidemic we are not ready for. By showing the many impacted we can let go of the fear and allow in compassion, kindness and love. One image has the power to change the world and big time change is what we need. Carmen Davailus Buck, founder of Carmen's Legacy Productions

Humanitarian photographer, author, international speaker, and nurse practitioner Carmen Davailus Buck’s pet project ‘Doggies for Dementia’ is striving to address and mitigate the loneliness faced by people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. By combining the healing power of pets, friends, and family, she helps them connect through non-intrusive photo sessions, preserving these candid moments forever through photography.

According to an online survey of more than 20,000 adults in the US, nearly half of them report sometimes or always feeling alone (46%) or left out (47%). Loneliness increases the risk of depression, heart disease, stroke, immune system problems and may lead to an early death of people of all ages. Social isolation increases the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease, which now strikes more than 5.7 million Americans -- a figure projected to triple by 2050.

“Loneliness is as harmful as obesity and smoking and yet we stand by and watch when simply being kind can rock someone’s world. The beauty of photography is how we all see something differently. We know love when we see it. By raising awareness, we change fear into understanding, compassion, and love,” said Carmen Davailus Buck, founder of Carmen’s Legacy Productions.

Initiatives like ‘Doggies for Dementia’ are all about getting the most meaningful images to show the human side of life – real and challenging – and making it beautiful. With 40 years of experience as a nurse practitioner working closely with the elderly and those with special needs, Carmen is able to easily draw out her subject’s personality comfortably with a lot of tender loving care.

“Millions are impacted by Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Just being around pets brings joy and reduces isolation. You will get to witness these incredible moments live and in photos along with me,” said Carmen.

Carmen’s clients include families of those impacted by dementia and businesses interested in the variety of sponsorship opportunities. More information about ‘Doggies for Dementia,’ a campaign that provides photo sessions for families to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and related dementias is available here.

About Carmen Davailus Buck

Carmen Davailus Buck is an author, speaker and humanitarian photographer capturing love, light, and compassion in every situation. During her 40-year nursing career as a nurse practitioner, she worked with thousands of people seeking meaning and connection during challenging times. Recognizing the power of compelling and compassionate stories and photography she authored award winning Just See Me-Sacred Stories from the Other Side of Dementia. She is an Alzheimer's Advocate believing with more understanding, we can have a world with less fear and more compassion, kindness and love. Carmen creates legacies for people of all ages in Austin, Texas and beyond.

Contact
Carmen Davailus Buck
Carmen’s Legacy Productions
512-920-2825
Carmen(at)CarmensLegacyProductions.com

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Kim Borghoff and Buddy, Jeff Borghoff's Great Dane puppy and service dog in training. Kim is her husbands' care partner while working 2 jobs.Kim Borghoff and Buddy, Jeff Borghoff's Great Dane puppy and service dog in training. Kim is her husbands' care partner while working 2 jobs.Doggies for Dementia with Kim Borghoff whose husband, Jeff Borghoff has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease. Their Great Dane puppy Buddy has been an additional source of love and companionship. Jeff was 51 when diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and was also caring for his father who was in the later stages of the disease.Jeff Borghoff has young onset Alzheimer's Disease. Buddy is a Great Dane puppy and his service dog in training.Jeff Borghoff has young onset Alzheimer's Disease. Buddy is a Great Dane puppy and his service dog in training.Doggies for Dementia with Jeff Borghoff who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease and his Great Dane puppy Buddy. Jeff was 51 when diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and was also caring for his father who was in the later stages of the disease.Buddy is a great source of joy for Jeff Borghoff, who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease.Buddy is a great source of joy for Jeff Borghoff, who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease.Doggies for Dementia with Jeff Borghoff who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease and his Great Dane puppy Buddy. Jeff was 51 when diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and was also caring for his father who was in the later stages of the disease.A moment of love with Jeff Borghoff and his service dog in training, Buddy.A moment of love with Jeff Borghoff and his service dog in training, Buddy.Doggies for Dementia photo session with Jeff Borghoff who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease and his Great Dane puppy Buddy. Moments of tenderness, love and connection are important for all of us, and even more so for those impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Jeff was 51 when diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and was also caring for his father who was in the later stages of the disease.Doggies for Dementia first photo session was with Judy Malish and the adorable Maggie Moo, Judy's grand daughter's French Bulldog puppy.Doggies for Dementia first photo session was with Judy Malish and the adorable Maggie Moo, Judy's grand daughter's French Bulldog puppy.Doggies for Dementia photo session with Judy Malish and Maggie Moo, who needed a nap as we ended our session. Moments of tenderness, love and connection are important for all of us, and even more so for those impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Judy lives in her own home with full support of her family.Behind the scenes for Doggies for Dementia photo session with Carmen Davailus Buck and Jeff Borghoff and his service dog in training Buddy. Jeff and his family are impacted by Alzheimer's Disease.Behind the scenes for Doggies for Dementia photo session with Carmen Davailus Buck and Jeff Borghoff and his service dog in training Buddy. Jeff and his family are impacted by Alzheimer's Disease.A Doggies for Dementia includes two photo sessions. We photograph and video the first day with the dog. In this case, Jeff Borghoff, who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease and his service dog in training Buddy are outside on a beautiful day in New Jersey in January. The second photo/video session takes place when the families are gifted and see their photos for the first time. Both are special days, and candid sessions which means anything can happen!Judy Malish and her daughter and care partner Roxanne Patschke getting ready for her photo session for Doggies for Dementia.Judy Malish and her daughter and care partner Roxanne Patschke getting ready for her photo session for Doggies for Dementia.Doggies for Dementia photo session with Judy Malish and her daughter Roxanne Patschke who is helping her get photo ready. Moments of tenderness, love and connection are important for all of us, and even more so for those impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Judy lives in her own home with full support of her family. Judy's husband recently passed, and while she occasionally asks for him, she is not fully aware of his loss.Doggies for Dementia first photo sessions were with Judy Malish and her grand daughter Danielle Kollman who are impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Judy enjoyed seeing herself in the photos.Doggies for Dementia first photo sessions were with Judy Malish and her grand daughter Danielle Kollman who are impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Judy enjoyed seeing herself in the photos.Doggies for Dementia photo session with Judy Malish and her grand daughter Danielle Kollman enjoying their first look from her photo session with Maggie Moo a few weeks before. Moments of tenderness, love and connection are important for all of us, and even more so for those impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Judy lives in her own home with full support of her family. Judy's husband recently passed, and while she occasionally asks for him, she is not fully aware of his loss.Judy Malish, Roxanne Patshke and Danielle Kollman post with Carmen Davailus Buck, founder of Doggies for Dementia.Judy Malish, Roxanne Patshke and Danielle Kollman post with Carmen Davailus Buck, founder of Doggies for Dementia.Photographing and creating legacies for families who struggle with hope in a disease leaving sorrow and daily grief in its path, means we grab onto every moment of happiness with the reverence it deserves. I become the preserver of the memories and more importantly we each become parts of one another's life stories. This is one of the many gifts of Doggies for Dementia.Doggies for Dementia reveal day! It is time for Jeff and Kim to look and enjoy the photos/video taken with Buddy.Doggies for Dementia reveal day! It is time for Jeff and Kim to look and enjoy the photos/video taken with Buddy.Doggies for Dementia photo session with Jeff Borghoff who has younger onset Alzheimer's Disease and his Great Dane puppy Buddy. Moments of tenderness, love and connection are important for all of us, and even more so for those impacted by Alzheimer's Disease. Jeff was 51 when diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and was also caring for his father who was in the later stages of the disease. Although he is unable to hold a job, Jeff is a powerful Alzheimer’s Advocate and speaker.