So, I found this video on YouTube about ways to find beauty, joy, and meaning in dementia. Usually, I like TED talks. In fact, I almost always like TED talks. This one especially peaked my interest because
1) it is related to dementia,
2) it promotes a positive message in the title, and
3) my name is also Carrie, and my husband’s last name is Clark – if I were to change my name, I would be Carrie Clark 🙂
So, I’m watching this talk by Carrie Clarke and almost immediately I am turned off. I don’t know if it was the tone of her speaking, or the sound of her voice, but it just made my stomach flip around. That intangible feeling that you know something is bothering you, but you can’t put your finger on why. Although I watched this alone, I literally “Ugh’ed” and sighed out loud. Multiple times.
Something in her voice sounds like she could be a bit condescending and infantilizing of people with dementia. Like her voice is begging to get at people’s emotions rather than to actually convey information. She even uses air quotes when she talks about Tom walking from his “cabin” to the armchair. Or maybe she is infantilizing the audience. Yes, maybe that’s it. It kinda feels like she is reading us children a book about dementia.
Spoiler alert: the ways to find beauty, meaning, and joy in dementia are focused on environment and art. But she doesn’t really talk about these or teach the audience the ways to use them, just gives a few emotion-filled examples.
I realize it’s odd that I would make a blog post about a video that I don’t like, effectively spreading it to more people. I guess I feel bad for saying that I don’t like it, and want to make up for it in some way. I mean, I really like that she is educating people about dementia, but the way she is doing it just really turns me off.
So, dear readers, I put the video here for you to decide. Give it a watch and let me know what you (or your stomach) though in the comments!