Teen’s Interview With His Grandma Reveals Harsh Realities of Alzheimer’s Disease


Justin Boswick sees film as more than just a storytelling medium — he views it as a way to make a difference.

The 17-year-old from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, recently created “The Word Search,” a short five-minute documentary (video below) about his family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease and a loving tribute to his grandmother.

The film centers on Justin’s interviews with Dorothy Landis, his grandmother who lives with Alzheimer’s disease, and Jennifer Boswick, Justin’s mother and Landis’s daughter. A third interviewee, Krista McCay, is the Director of Programs and Services at the Alzheimer’s Association.

Against a backdrop of old family photographs, video footage and snapshots of Landis’s current room in an assisted living home, Justin asks his grandmother questions about her previous years. He and his mother show her old photographs to try and trigger memories, but she has difficulty remembering and discussing them.

“Do you know that you’re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease?” Justin asks his grandmother in the film.

“No, I don’t know anything about that,” she replies.

Justin told The Burlington County Times he enjoys making films that resonate emotionally with viewers. He hopes the documentary helps people learn about Alzheimer’s disease and how severely it can affect families.

“You’d be hard pressed to meet someone and they say they have no idea what Alzheimer’s is or that they haven’t been impacted at all,” McCay says in the documentary. “Whether it’s a grandmother, an uncle, a mother or a father, somebody knows somebody with the disease.”

Watch the documentary in its entirety below.

“The Word Search” will be screened at the Princeton Student Film and Video Festival on July 23. It was one of 24 films selected from more than 200 submissions.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Alzheimer's Disease

Why This Amputee Army Veteran Is Suing a Six Flags Theme Park

“I’ve never felt disabled,” Larry Panayi says in the video below, “until that day.” Panayi, an amputee veteran from Fort Worth, Texas, was visiting the Six Flags Over Texas theme park with his family in 2013 when ride operators refused to let him on as many as 13 rides, CBS News reported. Now, he’s suing Six Flags [...]

The Practical Special Needs Mom Survival Guide

As special needs moms, we frequently find ourselves frazzled, scattered and well, quite honestly, tired. And when we’re in this scattered, frazzled and tired state, we don’t necessarily make the best decisions. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and glance over this Lilliputian list. My hope is that maybe, just maybe, it will help [...]

They Tried to Keep This Fighter With Down Syndrome Out of the Ring

Five years ago, Garrett “G-Money” Holeve stepped into a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym with his father in Cooper City, Florida. Ever since, fighting has been a passion for the 25-year-old, who has Down syndrome. “I fight because it makes me happy,” Holeve told ESPN. “It makes me feel good.” However, despite his enthusiasm for [...]

The Wonderful Way This 8-Year-Old Is Honoring His Best Friend’s Life

Connor Herrero and Connor Jacobs shared a first name and an inseparable bond. So when Jacobs, who lived with cerebral palsy and was nonverbal, unexpectedly died in May, Herrero knew immediately that he wanted to do something big to honor his best friend’s memory. Connor Herrero, right, and Connor Jacobs “We loved each other as much as [...]