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Alzheimer’s in the Movies

movies about Alzheimer's
photo courtesy IMBD.com

Over the years, Alzheimer’s disease has been portrayed in the media in books, movies and even some television shows. Because there are more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to explore the journey of those suffering from this disease as well as those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Some of the Best Movies about Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s and dementia storylines have taken center stage in several recent movies, but the topic is not entirely new to mainstream media. Here are some of the most popular movies about Alzheimer’s that properly depict what it’s like to live with this disease:

  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014): This documentary about country music legend Glen Campbell debuted in October 2014 and depicted the singer’s struggle with the disease throughout his farewell tour. Campbell was diagnosed in 2011 and publicly fought the disease and its stigma with his family. American Senior Communities is hosting a viewing of this film at the University of Indianapolis on Thursday, July 16th in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association and WTHR. The evening will also feature Campbell’s wife Kim sharing her experiences through a Q & A session following the film. All proceeds from the viewing will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • The Notebook (2004): The Notebook, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, might be considered one of the most popular movies about Alzheimer’s in the last several years. This dramatic love story tells the story of a man trying to rekindle memories for his wife of their long history together by reading her stories of their life from his notebook.
  • Away From Her (2007): This movie, based on the short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Alice Munro, tells the story of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who voluntarily enters a long term care facility to avoid becoming a burden to her husband. When her husband visits her 30 days later, her memories of him have already deteriorated to the point where she’s grown close to another man at the facility.
  • Iris (2001): This film is based on the memoirs of Professor John Bayley, husband of celebrated novelist Iris Murdoch. The movie depicts Iris’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and Bayley’s unconditional, unfailing love and support for his wife of 40 years.
  • Aurora Borealis (2005): This movie is told from the viewpoint of a grandson whose grandfather is slipping further into dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The grandson and his grandfather’s home health aide develop a close friendship as the grandfather’s condition becomes increasingly impaired.
  • Still Alice (2015): Probably the most recently released movie about Alzheimer’s disease is Still Alice, in which a linguistics professor is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 40. The film follows Alice’s decline in health and the struggles she and her family face as they fight to make the most of her remaining time.

These movies about Alzheimer’s disease not only show the despair and heartache that accompany a diagnosis, but also how wonderful it can be to care for the sufferers and enjoy every minute with those you love.

For more information about memory care through Auguste’s Cottage at American Senior Communities, please visit http://www.ascseniorcare.com/service/augustes-cottage-memory-care/.

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