Jack Heath recently woke up from a nightmare where his mother, Jacqueline, had died. He immediately knew he needed to create a photoseries documenting the progression of his mother's illness, Pick's Disease, a form of early-onset Dementia.
"In the beginning of the disease, when she had about 70% of her cognitive ability left, we found it very important to make her feel useful," he said.
Soon after, his family noticed that everyday adventures needed to dwindle down.
Soon, Jacquie's weight began to rapidly decrease. "It’s important to cherish every day and to look for the silver linings. In our case, the silver lining was that the rest of my family became a lot closer," Jake said.
She has also been able to meet her grandson, Levi Sherwin.
Soon, it became hard for her to keep her eyes open at all times. At this point, there is a stark contrast between this and the first photo.
Even "cuddles with her 14-month-old grandson" became hard, but "he knows she's special."
Eventually, her ability to walk nearly ceased, and she continued to lose weight.
Here is her last photo at the beach at 58. He says of the photo, "Her eyes aren't always open, and if they are, she's staring into the void."
His advice to families going through the same thing is "to make as many happy memories as possible. There were a few particular stages we’ve gone through, and in each one we’ve had to adapt our behaviour to keep mum happy and calm."
Jacquie is laughing in this final photo, a sight rarely seen. "It’s important to focus on your own mental health and well-being, to keep you out of the depression and find the strength to go on," he said.
"The memories may fade in someone with dementia, but they will live on in the memories of their family and friends," Jake said.