“ Why do family caregivers do what we do? Is it an instinct to protect? A willingness to sacrifice for someone we love? Is it responsibility? Guilt? Lack of options? Or is it perhaps an understanding that we can do no less. And the hope that someone else would do no less for us.” Judith Fox
Judith Fox was one of the leading business women of our time, but after her husband was diagnosed with Altzheimers shortly after they were married, she sold her company and concentrated her life on her husband and photography.
Throughout their lives she has used photography to record her husbands steady decline. The photographs have a soft, intimate appeal, showing how daily life can become difficult but also allowing us to see the loneliness that this disease can cause in a person.
“One of the wonderful things about being a photographer, and photographing Ed is that it is another way of loving him. Of touching him. And through the camera lens I do that. I see him more clearly I see him closer, it is really important for me and extends our relationship.” Judith Fox
Judith speaks of how her husband, Ed, would often keep his humor, laughing at himself if he couldn’t remember a name, a face or where the front door is. She also says that Ed often forgets that he is married to Judith, although never forgets that he loves her.
The whole series ‘I Still Do’ is a wonderful onlook into the life of someone with Alzheimers. Some of the images really (as Barthes would say) wound me, as they remind me of what a terrible time my Grandmother had in her latter years, with my Grandfather by her side, just like Judith Fox is doing with her husband.
In a video interview she says that everything she does for him is not a chore, as she relies on him to be there for her, she says “It is an honour to be there for him and to make his life easier” just as my Grandfather used to speak about my Grandmother.
Images: Fox, J. ‘I Still Do’ [Online] http://www.judithfox.com/#a=0&at=0&mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=2&p=0%5B17th May 2012]
Video:I Still Do by Judith Fox. Online Film. Dir. Judith Fox 2009. 4min 42sec. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWLhLD7Ox_g