Last night, Julianne Moore took home the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of a woman suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease in the 2014 film Still Alice, based on the best-selling novel by Lisa Genova.
While I haven’t seen the movie (yet!) I read the book several years ago and was incredibly moved. I help families dealing with dementia all the time. It is hard to imagine what these caregivers are going through on a daily basis, and even harder to imagine what the patient is experiencing. I have been told by many caregivers, through their tears, that it is the most difficult thing they’ve ever had to do.
It must be terrifying to know that your mind, and your memories, are slipping away and there is no treatment or cure that can help. This novel allowed me imagine for a moment how that might feel.
In her acceptance speech, Julianne Moore said that Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are not a ‘normal part of aging.’ Today, I heard a physician say the same thing – that dementia may be widespread among the elderly, but it is not ‘normal’ and deserves special attention. While it seems a bit trite to say that I hope this movie helps spread awareness about this terrible disease, I hope it does just that.
Learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease:
Image © Danilo Rizzuti – Fotolia.com