Trusting someone else to look after the person you have spent half your life with is a huge, emotional decision.
A new short film illustrates this journey for Anne Tudor, whose partner Edie Mayhew is living with dementia.
Mr Velvet Ears will have its premiere soon, but last week it was shown to Anne and Edie's closest friends, and staff and residents at Mercy Place.
The film is a raw examination of the decision to place Edie in care, with a fly-on-the-wall documentary style allowing director Andrew Ferguson to "disappear", in his words.
It's filmed from the point of view of the couple's service dog, Melvin, which highlights its confessional and honest aspects.
Anne said after the preview screening she found it painful to watch.
"We didn't want to gloss over the hard bits, but ultimately we wanted a positive film," she said.
"There's a great deal of stigma associated with dementia and many carers are living an extremely difficult life, and not having anyone to talk to about how hard it is."
She said she hoped the film would be a resource for carers, as well as residential care workers, "so that they actually know how hard it is" when someone with dementia moves in.
"When they see a person move in here, they don't know their history, they don't know their relationships, they don't know how hard it was for them to come in," she said.
"Because there's so many people in residential care who do have dementia, it's important that people who do work in residential care are educated about dementia.
"I think it was a really important part of this whole process that the hearts of workers that work in residential care are touched by the stories of people - it's much more than a job."
Filming for the documentary took about six months, and includes the heartbreaking decision for Edie to leave her home, as well as visiting her once she settles into Mercy Place.
"I feel lucky because they allowed me to enter their life - everything you see is absolutely what the journey was," Mr Ferguson said.
In light of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, it was also important to highlight positive stories about care, added Dr Catherine Barrett, who has worked on other projects with Anne and Edie.
"This film is a beautiful tribute to the amazing care that Ballarat has here," she said.
"You couldn't have done this film if there wasn't a happy ending, and Mercy Place created a happy ending."
"It's state-of-the-art, it doesn't feel like you're in a residential care home, and that's so important (for a carer)," she said, adding she was heartened by the response from the preview screening - many people said it was inspiring, and there were tears in the room.
"You can't underestimate the emotional energy required to do something like this," she said.
"It's all about the end result, and the end result really touches the right spot.
"I know because of the impact it has on me that it impacts other carers as well, and I'm satisfied we've done something really special."
Mr Velvet Ears premieres at Little Square Garage, Humffray Street North, at 6pm on September 8.
Check the Pulse of My Heart Facebook page for more information, or buy RSVP through Eventbrite or by phoning 0429 582 237.
It will also be screened in Melbourne, at the Wheeler Centre, during Carers Week.
For support with dementia, phone the national helpline on 1800 100 500.
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