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Alz in popular culture
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2019 7:48 PM
Joined: 8/19/2016
Posts: 472

Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Legal, Still Alice. I’m curious about the impressions those of you (us) in the trenches have of the way Alz is portrayed on the big and small screen. I read and then saw Still Alice when my wife was diagnosed with MCI but not yet with AD. I’ve had a hard time finding space to watch Grey’s Anatomy or Boston Legal. Regardless, I would enjoy reading your thoughts about these shows (and others). Thanks!
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:28 PM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1323

I've never seen any of the TV shows you have listed here, John, so I can't speak to their accuracy of dementia, but I have seen a couple of movies that centered on dementia, and even if they aren't right on the money, at least they can start a conversation where there might otherwise be silence. The first is called " Forget Me Never, " and stars Martin Sheen and Mia Farrow. The second, and by far the best of the two, as far as I am concerned, is " Still Mine, " starring James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold.

  It occurs to me that with so many different facets of dementia, it might be near impossible for any movie or television show to be 100 % accurate.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2019 9:31 PM
Joined: 8/19/2016
Posts: 472

 Thanks Chrisp. I think both Grey’s and Boston have great potential, but I can’t watch them with DW in the room. She is my constant companion. Still Alice really hit home as the main character was the same age as my wife and they had similar career responsibilities/success. Unlike the Alac Baldwin character, I’ve abandoned my career to be a full time caregiver and companion. Also, my wife has chosen to secluded herself and try to hide her disease. 

William Shatner plays the main character in Boston Legal and his depiction  of AD has potential. 

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 1:34 PM
Joined: 11/3/2018
Posts: 133

"Picket Fences" had a whole season of mayor Howard Buss deteriorating from Alzheimer's until his death in the season finale.

"General Hospital" currently has Mike Corbin (played by Max Gail now) dealing with his recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

"The Golden Girls" touched on it from time to time. I recall one episode where a subplot was Sophia befriending a man with it.

Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 11:53 AM
Joined: 12/17/2018
Posts: 68

Chris - Thanks for the tip on the movie “Forget me Never”. I just finished watching it on Amazon. Powerful movie. I will look to see if I can find the other movie you recommended.

I don't post on here very often, but I still read most of the posts in all sections.

I just returned from a 10 day, and very challenging trip by myself to NC to visit my newborn second granddaughter. Lots of cognitive issues, but well worth the cost both financially and cognitively.

Edit - I just checked and Amazon also has the movie “Still mine”. I will watch it today.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2019 6:38 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 396

This isn't popular culture, per se, but the book "Someone I used to Know" by Wendy Mitchell is very good.  She was diagnosed with early onset at age 58.

She apparently was an advisor on Still Alice. You wouldn't think that a book written by someone with early onset would be an inspirational read, but I found it to be so.

Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2019 12:51 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

I found the movie "Iris" (with Judi Dench) very moving (about the life of writer Iris Murdoch). Hope this helps.
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2019 4:19 PM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1323

I love Judi Dench. I'll look up " Iris " and see where I can watch it.
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:35 AM
Joined: 1/6/2016
Posts: 9

I find the same thing to be true and I will recommend the West Wing episode called "The Long Goodbye," as it, to me, has a great portrayal of it, if only for 44 minutes. Of course, everyone's experience is different and it can be a difficult thing to portray. I'm a filmmaker so I understand the challenges. In fact, I'm working on a project right now (still in the writing stages) based on my experience taking care of my mother and even though it is very true to my experience, it is my experience. We need more of these stories, in print, TV, film, art, and more.
Rescue mom
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 12:37 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 2645

The Glen Campbell documentary, about his decline with Alzheimer’s, is breathtaking. Very open and revealing. Amazing to me they allowed it, but it’s incredibly emotional and honest, as far as I can tell.

I think Shatner on Boston Legal does a great job. Of course it’s TV, but everything considered, he does really well.

Rescue mom
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 12:47 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 2645

John—tablets are great for watching or writing with more privacy. You can get used ones that work just fine for that, for $60-$70, maybe less in some brands.
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 4:58 PM
Joined: 7/4/2013
Posts: 306

The British show, currently running on PBS,  Call the Midwife is outstanding.    One of the subplots is an elderly nun with dementia.
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2019 7:07 PM
Joined: 8/19/2016
Posts: 472

We loved the first few seasons of Call the Midwife, but haven’t seen it in recent years. The audio book is also great.
Cat 69
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2019 9:10 AM
Joined: 5/18/2019
Posts: 2

John, I read and watched Still Alice though I had little knowledge of dementia/ alzheimer's at the time. I am now living with my dear husband who was diagnosed a year ago with alzeimer's . I am a retired teacher so am able to be here for him fortunately, as you say, my constant companion. I was so angry at first and then so sad to see a man who was talented and bright unable to tell time or turn on the tv, sit at the table to many things gone in one year. So now when I look back on Still Alice and some of the Gray's episodes, I get it.