Compassion, Care & Community
Louise Detlefsen and May Bjerre Eiby and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their beautiful new film It Is Not Over Yet, community, compassionate care, family and belonging, living with dementia and the ethical demands of others.
It Is Not Over Yet is an immersive, life-affirming journey into the day-to-day rhythm of a controversial nursing home for people with dementia in Denmark. The founding nurse of Dagmarsminde, May Bjerre Eiby, has no interest in specific dementia diagnoses or medicine since neither improves the quality of life for her 11 residents. Instead, she and her staff have developed a new kind of treatment inspired by the methods introduced by Florence Nightingale 150 years ago, as well as Danish philosopher Løgstrup.
"Compassion Treatment," as May calls it, prioritizes hugs, touch, talking, humor, eye contact, cake, nature, bubbles, and the joy of community. Having suffered the painful loss of her father due to neglect at a nursing home, Bjerre Eiby is determined to inspire a complete change in the way people with dementia are treated in the healthcare system, prioritizing holistic care and kindness over medication of any kind.
Filmmaker Louise Detlefsen’s vérité approach offers unique access into the intimate and sometimes intense moments between residents and caregivers, providing a rarely seen and uplifting experience of aging with dignity, grace, and joy
About Louise and May:
Louise Detlefsen, age 50, is one of Denmark’s most experienced documentary filmmakers. Louise has directed numerous documentaries reaching a wide audience. The films show strong solidarity with the characters while achieving a strong artistic expression and have often raised public debate about the issues of the film. Louise Detlefsen’s latest documentary feature film, Fat Front, had its international premiere at IDFA 2019 in the Frontlight section. Her films have been shown on both television and at festivals all over Europe, and her debut film From Barbie to Babe premiered at IDFA.
From a young age, Louise Detlefsen has worked with storytelling, trying out scriptwriting, and she is the author of a political biography about one of Denmark’s most remarkable female politicians Ritt Bjerregaard, also an EU commissioner. Louise Detlefsen graduated from the Danish School of Journalism in 1996 and since 2000 she has been working as a documentary filmmaker.
Louise has also worked in close collaboration with Louise Unmack Kjeldsen with whom she’s directed a number of documentary films and series. She lives in Copenhagen with her husband, cinematographer Per Fredrik Skiöld and their blended family of four children.
May Bjerre Eiby, born in 1981, is a certified nurse, with a Masters degree in Nursing from the University of Aarhus in Denmark. Eiby primarily worked at nursing homes and hospitals with elderly patients, before single-handedly establishing her own nursing home north of Copenhagen for people with dementia in 2016.
Her new form of treatment, which is entirely based on caring, personal contact, and active engagement with both the residents and their relatives, has successfully eliminated the use of anti-psychotic medicines and sedatives.
Eiby has given lectures around the world on the current state of dementia care and her treatment, and she recently won the Fonsmark prize, a prestigious award given to Danish citizens who have raised public awareness about social issues.
Image Copyright and Credit: Louise Detlefsen and First Hand Films and Fathom Film Group.
For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.
With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
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