Coping with change can be difficult 一 even when the change is good. As a care manager, one thing I hear over and over from my clients and their families is that they feel overwhelmed. For caregivers dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it can be particularly challenging.

This disease is often misunderstood or stigmatized. The challenges caregivers and their loved ones face are rarely talked about, which can make it even harder to prepare for and cope with. The emotional, psychological, and social impacts of Alzheimer’s are a heavy burden to bear.

Some caregivers, seeking acknowledgement, awareness or support, are interested in films that portray the emotional, psychological, and social impacts of dementia and Alzheimer’s For individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, seeing their experiences reflected on screen can be validating and ei>mpowering. It can help them feel less alone and more understood, offering a sense of connection and community.

Here are three you may be interested in if you or someone you know is experiencing Alzheimer’s disease.

Still Alice

Still Alice tells the story of Alice Howland, a renowned linguistics professor at Columbia University who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease shortly after her 50th birthday. The film follows Alice as she struggles to cope with the devastating effects of the disease on her memory, identity, and relationships.

The film explores the emotional and psychological toll of Alzheimer’s on both Alice and her family. It portrays the challenges she faces as she tries to maintain her independence and dignity while her cognitive abilities decline. We witness the heartbreak and frustration experienced by her husband and children as they grapple with the gradual loss of the woman they know and love.

Still Alice is a poignant and moving depiction of the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals and their families. It highlights the importance of love, support, and understanding in navigating the complexities of this debilitating disease. The film also raises awareness about early-onset Alzheimer’s, a less common but equally devastating form of the disease that affects individuals at a younger age.

The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker is a 2017 comedy-drama film about an elderly couple, Ella and John, who embark on a spontaneous road trip in their old RV. Ella is battling cancer, and John is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. The couple decides to escape their overprotective children and doctors to take one last adventure together.
Their journey from Boston to Key West is filled with bittersweet moments as they reminisce about their past, face the challenges of their illnesses, and rediscover their love for each other. The film explores themes of aging, memory, illness, and the enduring power of love and companionship.
The film offers a poignant and humorous look at the complexities of aging and the importance of cherishing the time we have with loved ones.

Away From Her

This film is a drama based on Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” It tells the story of Grant and Fiona Anderson, a married couple whose relationship is tested when Fiona begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

As Fiona’s memory deteriorates, she voluntarily checks herself into a nursing home. The facility has a policy of no visitors for the first 30 days to help patients adjust, a period during which Fiona forgets Grant almost entirely. When Grant is allowed to visit, he discovers that Fiona has formed a close bond with another patient, Aubrey, a mute man in a wheelchair.

The film explores the complex emotions of love, loss, and acceptance as Grant grapples with Fiona’s fading memory and her growing attachment to Aubrey. He struggles with feelings of jealousy and abandonment while trying to honor Fiona’s wishes and prioritize her happiness. Ultimately, he makes a selfless decision to support her new relationship, recognizing that her well-being is more important than his own desires.

Away from Her is a poignant and moving exploration of the challenges faced by couples dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. It delves into the complexities of long-term relationships, the nature of memory and identity, and the sacrifices we make for those we love.

If you are navigating the challenges of aging care, please reach out to us. You are not alone! We help you streamline care and understand the community options. When care is coordinated and organized, costs often reduce.