Let me tell you how I came to produce this DVD.
I have been a professional video producer for many years, including working for NBC affiliate TV stations and producing wildlife documentaries. I live in Wyoming, which has some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States (One of my favorite scenes in “Creation’s Joy” is the view of Mt. Moran in the Grand Tetons near Jackson Hole, Wyoming).
Several years ago, a friend of mine, who has also worked in the television industry, became the live-in caregiver of his father, who has Alzheimer’s disease. You can probably relate to my friend’s experience – his father’s agitation, confusion, wandering and anger. Every day the father would try to leave the house to find his wife, who unfortunately had passed away years before. My friend’s father also resented the fact that he needed daily care, and interfered with his son’s caregiving activities. He tried letting his father watch television as a distraction, but found that “regular” TV, with its frantic news programs, scenes of conflict and war, highly emotional soap operas, and complex crime dramas just made his father more agitated.
As I mentioned, I live in Wyoming and have always enjoyed the peace and calm of our beautiful natural surroundings, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. As a video producer, I have filmed many beautiful scenes of nature and wildlife, and my friend and I began experimenting with editing video programs of nature with no story or narration for his father to watch, instead of “regular” TV.
We found that my friend’s father enjoyed the programs and they seemed to have a calming and relaxing effect, enabling my friend to have some respite to complete his caregiving and household activities like cooking and cleaning. This first video became the basis for our current DVDs, “Creation’s Joy” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful”.
I had occasion to talk to other Alzheimer’s caregivers, and I explained the DVD to them and they tried it with their own family members, and had similar results. My friend Rosita became the live-in caregiver for a 74 year old woman with Alzheimer’s and she told me, “[the woman with Alzheimer’s] often becomes agitated and restless throughout the day and evening. However, since I started using Lake Solitude Media’s videos as a relaxation tool, my struggles have diminished considerably. The scenic views, calming music and sounds of nature have captured the woman’s attention. At times she becomes calm and tranquil, and at other times she becomes sleepy and takes a nap.”
Since that time, I have devoted countless hours researching the best way to serve families with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, and producing video programs that will help calm the agitation that Alzheimer’s can often induce.