Beginning at the End:
Portraits of Dementia by Joe Wallace

© 2019 Joe Wallace

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About the project

In 2019, 50 million people are living with dementia globally. In the United States, one in three seniors suffers with Alzheimer’s or dementia at the time of their death. And yet despite the millions of individuals and families affected, dementia is often a taboo subject with limited public awareness or discourse. A diagnosis can become a mechanism for segregating those affected from society, making it easy to see only the label instead of the individuals. Dementia however does not discriminate. These portraits reflect a cross-section of races and ethnicities affected. 


Subjects were photographed and interviewed individually or with a caregiver. Each portrait is paired with a second photograph from the subject’s youth and is presented with anecdotes or stories from the interview to use empathy as a means for connection and understanding and challenge the audience to truly see the subjects, not just their diagnosis. 


How you can get involved

I am continually looking for people with dementia to participate in this project. Everyone is different and sometimes I will interview and photograph a subject individually, and other times with a carepartner. Please contact me if you want to participate or know someone who might like to get involved.

Thank you to the following individuals, organizations, and institutions for supporting this project:

Age Friendly Boston

The Alzheimer's Association

The Atrium at Drum Hill
Charlene Manor

Cure Alzheimer's Fund
Day by Day Adult Care

La Alianza Hispana

Massachusetts Councils on Aging
South Cove Manor


Marisol Amaya-Aluigi

Tim Armour

Sandy Becker

Kathy Bowler

Andrea Burns
Peggy Cahill

Charlotte Carlo

David Chang
Li Chen
Tammy Chen

Olive Fagan
Angie Garcia
Emily Kearns

Pam Macleod
Patricia McCormack
Jay Pollack
Martha Rappoli

John Slattery
Beth Soltzberg
Molly Sonia

Patty Sullivan

Amy Walsh