Great Britain

Almost every day I drive past the care home at the end of our road. As I pause at the traffic lights I gaze in and my heart goes out to the residents who gaze back with a sad dignity.

The top floor of the care home (called Avery House) is reserved for the residents with dementia. I wanted to do something to help.

I called the General Manager, Jenny Dawkins, and offered to spend a day photographing the residents with their families completely free and that each resident would receive a 15x10 framed print. This would be a comforting reminder of their family for them to look at in their room.

Jenny loved the idea. I put a little display up in the reception to promote the event and left a schedule so that visiting families could reserve the time they wanted on the allotted day.

I photographed 5 sessions during the day. Sadly, some of the residents were suffering quite badly from dementia. It broke my heart and I was glassy eyed through some of the sessions because I could see the impact it had on their families.

This quote from the daughter of one of the residents sums up why I love family portrait photography so much:

"I treasure the lovely photos that you took of my mother, husband and me at Avery House back in February of this year. My mother became very ill shortly after those photos were taken with advanced Alzeimers disease. She also broke her leg and had a partial hip replacement in August of this year, no mean feat at the age of 87. She had to be placed into nursing care at Wentworth Croft, as Avery House couldn't meet her needs any more. She sadly passed away on 19th November after seven weeks in nursing care. So you see those photos are priceless to me, everyone says how natural and professional they are and I always tell them who took them. So a BIG THANK YOU to you for a lasting memory of my mum."
Mrs Barbara Osborne, Peterborough

Here are some of the photos I created for the residents and their loved-ones. I hope it brought a little happiness to them.