Photographer Captures Uncle's Alzheimer's Journey In Striking Photos

Glenn Nishida aims to show "the ups and downs of living with the disease."

By documenting his uncle’s day-to-day life in photos, one Hawaii man is showing the world what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s. 

Glenn Nishida, an amateur photographer from Kaneohe, Hawaii, has been sharing photos of his uncle, 84-year-old Eddie Sakai, on Instagram. Nishida told The Huffington Post his uncle was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in November 2015 after a fall that left him in the hospital for 60 days. Sakai has since moved in with Nishida and his wife, giving Nishida plenty of opportunities to photograph his uncle as well as share stories of his journey with Alzheimer’s.

As Nishida began to post photos, he learned other people had similar experiences. It was then that he decided to use his photography to raise awareness about the disease and its effects.

“Uncle and I decided, even though he doesn’t remember, it would be good to get the word out on dementia,” Nishida told HuffPost. 

Nishida has noticed that the photos have resonated with multiple communities, especially groups that might not feel comfortable openly discussing Alzheimer’s. 

“I’ve been finding that it’s been spiking dialogue between caregivers alike and family members who have been afraid to talk about the disease,” he said. 

In Nishida’s photos, Sakai can be seen watching the sun rise, holding his college diploma and playing with dominoes. Nishida also documents his uncle’s more frustrating moments with Alzheimer’s. He told HuffPost he wanted to ensure people saw both the “ups and downs of living with the disease.”

As someone whose life has been influenced by Alzheimer’s, he also had some uplifting advice for others in a similar position.

“As caregivers, give yourself permission to get frustrated and angry,” he said. “There is no judgment, don’t feel guilty. All you can do is try your best.”

See more photos of Uncle Eddie below.

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