In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned she has dementia. She was 61-years-old at the time, and a professor at the University of Utah who was already recognizing symptoms in herself. Gerda has been writing about her experience, and has agreed to let VideoWest follow her on her journey with the disease.

MEET GERDA | Gerda Saunders was diagnosed with microvascular dementia in 2010. This short film is the first in a series of portraits about Gerda and the family and friends that surround her with love. Music used with permission: Goddamn Electric Bill – Clouds and a Bee

THE BODY THAT IS LEFT | When the time is right, Gerda Saunders is going to take her own life. Gerda has a progressive form of dementia and we’ve been following her during this process. Of course, identifying the right time is going to be difficult, but she knows her family will support her when she makes the call. Life is over, she told us, when you stop having the ability to make your mark in the world.

DOWNHILL FROM THERE | We’re continuing our series with Gerda Saunders. Gerda has progressive dementia, and she’s been letting us follow her along the way. Recently, we went with Gerda and her husband to the doctor for her latest evaluation, a series of memory tests. The results gave her a sense of urgency, and oddly, relief. As Gerda told us, “I’m really not making this up.”


Read Gerda Saunders' essay, My Dementia: Telling who I am before I forget at Slate