Alzheimer’s & Dementia: At the Movies and in Real Life

A number of upcoming and current films focus Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, and show how these conditions affect a person’s life and their family.  In the drama Still Alice, Julianne Moore stars as Alice Howard, a professor living with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  The film shows how this diagnosis changes her relationships with her friends, family, and alters her work life. The film is critically acclaimed and there is Academy Award buzz surrounding Ms. Moore for her realistic portrayal of a person afflicted with this disease.  You can watch the trailer for Still Alice here.

Another upcoming film is the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, which the Rhinestone Cowboy after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.  In spite of this fact, he courageously decides to hit the road for one last tour, even as the disease begins to set in.  You can watch the trailer for I’ll Be Me here.

These films, both drama and documentary, show the emotional toll of these diseases.  However it is important not to forget the legal aspects of lost capacity.  If somebody has a dementia diagnosis, they may not be able to make medical decisions for themselves anymore, or be able to appreciate the consequences of their action.  It is important to plan for such incapacity, which is why we at LSED stress the importance of executing a Health Care Proxy and/or a Power of Attorney document.  If you meet program guidelines, our office may be able to prepare these documents for you.  Additionally, our office serves as court appointed guardian for individuals living with dementia under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, and may serve if called upon by the Court.  This often occurs when there are no family members willing or able to serve, or if person with dementia was victimized.

Check out these films, learn more about dementia, and think about the importance of planning for a future incapacity.  Call our office at 716-853-3087 if you are interested in our services.


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