See the BBC’s slideshow of photos from Love, Loss, and Laughter.
The author/photographer brings expertise as a sociologist to the project. Cathy Greenblat, Ph.D., (BA, Vassar College, MA, PhD Columbia University) has engaged in a cross-cultural photographic project on aging, dementia, and end of life care since 2001. She is Professor Emerita of Sociology at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) where she served as a member of the Department of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and the Bloustein School of Planning, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. During her academic career she authored more than 100 professional articles and 14 books including textbooks, trade books and specialized sociology books. A photography book, Alive with Alzheimer’s (University of Chicago Press, 2004), and the German translation (Alzheimer und Lebensqualitat) were published after her retirement.
In addition to the author’s professional expertise, she has been affected by Alzheimer’s in a personal way. Both maternal grandparents succumbed to Alzheimer’s. Her grandfather, a successful attorney and politician, spent his final years disconnected from life. When home care became two difficult, both were reluctantly placed in ‘premier’ facilities where “care” meant keeping the patient fed, hydrated, and safe. When her mother was diagnosed years later, the author was able to provide a much richer life and context.