I am 67 years old (2016) and have cerebral microvascular disease, after Alzheimer’s the second leading cause of dementia. This website tells—through my published writing, a film series by VideoWest, and a blog titled “Dementia Field Notes”—how I perceive my “self” as the disease continues to diminish my identity. By publicly sharing who I am and how I feel about it, I hope to help lift the shame and fear still associated with dementia. If someone you love has dementia, I hope that my website might help you better understand the view from inside.
Blog: Dementia Field Notes
Doña Quixote has been a shady presence in my life even before my diagnosis of cerebral microvascular disease 5 years ago. In those days she did not have a name. Nevertheless I knew her as a memory-sucking fiend that often emptied out my head while I was teaching, snatching away the name of a book […]
When Doug Fabrizio, curator of the VideoWest series about my dementia, interviewed me for the first film, he asked how dementia affected my state of being. “I feel like I am not well-balanced on the earth,” I replied. “I feel I could stumble. It’s like when you go to a Halloween haunted house and they […]
On Sept 7, 7:00 pm, Gerda Is Reading from her Dementia Writings at the Downtown Library in the City Art Meltdown
Over the weekend I heard from Joel Long that I was “voted in”(?) to read at this year’s Meltdown hosted by City Art. The meltdown consists of 15-20 local poets and fiction- and non-fiction writers reading for 5 min each. This is the first year I will be participating. This year’s line-up includes Kimberly Johnson, Wade Bentley, Pam […]
Gerda Saunders’ Feelings About Her Dementia in Relation to Michael Rossato-Bennett’s Music and Memory Documentary “Alive Inside”
This video consists of an excerpt from the panel discussion about Michael Rossato-Bennett’s documentary Alive Inside arranged by the Utah Commission on Aging and hosted by Salt Lake Acting Company in 2015. Gerda Saunders, who has dementia, was one of the panelists. She speaks about her feelings regarding Alive Inside , which tells of Dan Cohen’s work of bringing music to […]