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June 24, 2009

Screening slated for Alzheimer’s documentary

‘Caregivers’ part of HBO series The Alzheimer’s Project

On July 8, the Alzheimer’s Association will host a special screening of “Caregivers,” one of the documentaries in the HBO series The Alzheimer’s Project. A group discussion and Q&A; session will follow the screening.

The event will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the Vigo County Department of Health in the Annex Building at175 Oak St. After screening the film which is approximately one hour, attendees be able to ask questions, discuss the film and share their own personal experiences during the group discussion. This discussion will be lead by a trained facilitator.

“Caregivers” is a collection of five portraits, each of which highlights the sacrifices and successes made by people experiencing their loved one’s gradual descent into dementia.

As “Caregivers” director Bill Couturié explains: “Not only is it very expensive to pay for care in a nursing home, but the patient is someone you love a lot — a mother, father, spouse. Someone who has taken care of you, and so it’s only natural to want to take care of them. It’s not uncommon for the caregiver to die before the patient. It’s a 24/7 job and often the caregiver has no help. But it’s a long haul, you can’t live like that and survive. Caregivers must be able to find some respite.

“Alzheimer’s can take a great toll on the physical and emotional well-being not just of the patient, but of the caregiver as well,” says Couturié. “Successful caregivers don’t do this out of a sense of obligation. They truly love their father or wife and get a sense of joy from giving to the person. They also learn to live in the present … a butterfly, a cloud in the sky — these folks learn to appreciate that.”

Today, approximately 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 120,000 Hoosiers. Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, making Alzheimer’s disease the seventh leading cause of death. The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia amount to more than $148 billion annually.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world leader in Alzheimer’s research and support. Having awarded more than $150 million to nearly 1,300 research projects,the Alzheimer’s Association is the largest private funder of Alzheimer research. The Association’s vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, call 1-800-272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/indiana.

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