About Letters of Love & Dementia
At the centre of the Letters of Love and Dementia Campaign is a film called Our Hearts Are Bigger - which shows Edie Mayhew and her partner Anne Tudor opening and reading letters they wrote to each other every day for a week. The film is part of a series documenting the importance of love in Edie and Anne's life. It calls for family members, friends and service providers to write a letter to someone with dementia as a way of acknowledging the human experience. The Campaign was launched in November 2016 in Ballarat, Victoria.
The film - Our Hearts Are Bigger
You are invited to watch Our Hearts Are Bigger film produced by film maker Andrew Ferguson, and then write a letter to some with dementia.
Responses to the Campaign
The film was previewed at the 2016 Alzheimers New Zealand Biennial Conference and the conference convenor said the film depicted "Arohanui" - a Maori word for 'A love so big it is an ocean.' Participants at the Ballarat launch were also invited to respond to the film and project and the responses are beautiful - as you can see from the images below. Special thanks to fabulous photographer Lisa White. We would love to hear your feedback on the Campaign - please write your own message and share it (post, email) with us.
Sharon Knight MP
We were delighted to have Sharon Knight MP, Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Wendouree launch the Letters of Love and Dementia Campaign. We also particularly love Sharon's letter to Anne and Edie that she read out in State Parliament on 8th December. Thank you for your letter and your leadership.
Feedback from around the World
Thank you Lisa White, The Social Photographer for the beautiful photographs from the film and Campaign launch.
Write a letter - join the Campaign
You are invited to join the Letters of Love and Dementia Campaign by writing a letter to someone with dementia. You are also invited to share your letter with us. By sharing your letter you can help others to acknowledge the human experience loving or knowing someone with dementia. Here are some letter writing tips you might find useful:
- Letters can be short
- Write about anything – joys and challenges
- Use words, drawings, paintings, anything
- You can write anonymously - use a pseudonym or just use your first name
- You can write to a person who is living - or someone who has died
- Share your letter on the webpage by:
- emailing it to: firstname.lastname@example.org or
- posting it to: PO Box 1377 St Kilda South 3182 Australia
This section of the webpage is dedicated to letters shared by people from around the world. If you have written a letter, please consider sharing it to help others learn from your experience.
There are a number of organisations that provide free and confidential phone lines if you need to speak with a professional. The first listed below is the National Dementia Helpline, which is a dementia specific service. The other two (beyondblue and Lifeline) provide crisis phone support. It can be useful to have these numbers handy if you or someone you know needs them:
- The National Dementia Helpline is a free confidential phone and email information and support service which provides information about dementia. The Helpline operates from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. A message service is available so if you call outside operating hours on 1800 100 500
- beyondblue on 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you would like more information on the Letters of Love and Dementia Campaign please contact project coordinator
Dr Catherine Barrett
Phone: 0429 582 237
Dr Catherine Barrett
Phone: 0429 582 237
In the media
- 29/11/16: The Advocate: Sharing letters of love in dementia (Melanie Whelan): link
- 29/11/16: ABC Radio Victoria interview with Steve Martin: link
- 28/11/16: The Courier: Letters of love and dementia (Melanie Whelan): link
- 26/11/16: The Courier: Sharing letters of love in dementia (Melanie Whelan): link
(c) 2013 celebrateageing.com