The documentary film Compassion on Prescription portrays a controversial treatment of people with dementia. At the small retirement home in Denmark “Dagmarsminde”, the founding nurse May Eiby has no interest in specific dementia-diagnosis or medicine, since neither is improving the quality of life the 11 residents. Instead May and her staff has developed a new kind of treatment. May Eiby has named it care-treatment: Hugs, touching, talking, humour, eye contact and the joy of community is the prescription. The goal is to inspire to a complete change of the way people with dementia are treated in the health care system, shifting from medicine to care.
Compassion on Prescription is a life-assuring documentary about the power of human relations. Through the protagonist, the passionate nurse May Eiby, we follow the emotional dramas at Dagmarsminde and we experience the life of the people living with dementia at close hand. Every morning when the residents meet at the breakfast table they have forgotten, where they are, what year it is and if their spouse is alive or dead. But being supported into enjoying the moment, using all their senses in the nature and living in a place beautifully decorated as a home, they feel joyful and satisfied. By feeling important to the small community, they avoid the typical symptoms of dementia: restlessness, aggression and a painful feeling of emptiness.
But no change happens without struggle. Tapering out a woman from 10 different types of medicine is a demanding process, death is a constant companion and when a new couple moves in at Dagmarsminde May and her staff is put at test.
Per Fredrik Skiöld
Malene Flindt Pedersen ( Hansen & Pedersen Film & Television)
Jürgen Kleinig (Neue Celluloid Fabrik)