Poul and Else were married for 57 years. For the last four, their granddaughter, photographer Sofie Mathiassen, documented their life together while Poul progressed through the stages of Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Else stayed by Poul’s side until his death, first in their home in Skanderborg, Denmark, and later in a nursing home when it became too hard to care for him at home. She visited every day.
Mathiassen’s photographs are an intimate window into the end of a life, and a lifelong partnership. They are testament to a specific love story, but they will also be familiar to anyone who has cared for a loved one with dementia. “Else and Poul’s story is very universal,” Mathiassen told STAT, “because it deals with themes and emotions recognizable for many people whether you have dementia or not.”
The project was recently recognized by The Bob and Diane Fund photography grant, which supports visual storytelling about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
So powerful. Thank you.
Yes, this is what it looks like. The photos are beautiful – respectful, loving, honest, REAL.
Thank you Thank you.
That was me when my husband died with Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s dementia. Jim was only 69 but the photo matched in so many ways.
I have been Else’s shoes!! The pictures I have are precious!!
very touching ….thanks for sharing !
love and light to you all …
What a beautiful story. Obviously sad. It had special meaning to me as Alzheimer’s runs rampant down the female side of my family. We males have cornered the cancer market!
A beautiful but sad srory. My parents emigrated from Denmark in 1923. My precious husband is getting quite forgetful. We have been married 65 years.
Dedicated true love. Heartbreaking pictures of a ceaseless decline.
It gives me hope that this situation can be seen as beautiful by others. I’ve been caring for my husband for the last 5 years as he diminishes and slips away from who he was. We’ve been married for 45 years and I struggle every day with what we have lost. But this story displays what it is all about- loving to the end, for better or for worse.
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