In 2012, Sendai Television made a documentary that focuses on the lives of elderly residents suffering from dementia at the Cleveland Eliza Jennings Home. The film sees the protagonists take part in a cognitive intervention program -- developed by neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, from the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University.
Developed more than a decade ago, and used in clinical trials in Japan, SAIDO Learning is a noninvasive and non-pharmaceutical intervention that has been shown to help slow down and reverse the effects of dementia. The learning therapy consists of short reading and writing exercises and simple arithmetic questions, all administered in a conversational manner by facility staff. The sessions are held every day for 30 minutes.
As of 2013, Alzheimer's Disease International estimates there were 44.4 million people with dementia worldwide. Dementia is an overall term that describes symptoms associated with a loss in memory and cognitive function, and includes Alzheimer's Disease, the most well known form of dementia. The effects of dementia can rob its victims of their memory, pride, personality and even the will to live.
The documentary is an emotional journey of the progress made by residents at the Eliza Jennings Home. Entitled, 'Do You Know What My Name Is?' a young caregiver John, asks the question as a marker for improvement in short term memory. After months of therapy and encouragement by caregivers, the elderly residents show a remarkable improvement in memory, focus and confidence.
The film has been submitted for the documentary feature category for the 87th Academy Awards. It will be simultaneously released in New York and Los Angeles from December 12~18 at the cinemas below:
34 W 13th St New York, NY 10011
Laemmle's Town Center 5, CA
17200 Ventura Blvd Encino, CA 91316