New Tools for Alzheimer's Awareness
Downloadable "pocket" films help increase public understanding of a 21st century epidemic
With the aging of the population, experts warn that Alzheimer’s disease will reach epidemic proportions by mid-century, creating massive and unsustainable burdens in terms of health care costs, overwhelmed families, and millions of lives tragically lost to a devastating disease.
If you’ve got questions about Alzheimer’s,
A Quick Look at Alzheimer's, a series of four animated "pocket" films, just might have the answers you're seeking. The short films, which run only two-three minutes each, are available for anyone at anytime, and are universally accessible—playable on iPods, cell phones, PDAs, laptops and DVD players. They are available as a free download from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alliance for Aging Research, on Google Video, YouTube or as a DVD. (There is a $5 charge for the DVD format.)
The pocket films were written and directed by David Shenk, author of the acclaimed book, The Forgetting, and are narrated by Emmy- and Tony-award winning actor David Hyde Pierce. Designed to explain the essence of the disease and its public health implications in easy-to-understand terms, the films were developed by the Alliance for Aging Research through a grant from MetLife Foundation.
"We absolutely have to stop Alzheimer’s. As a nation, as an economy, as a civilization—we have to end it," said David Shenk. "These films will help increase understanding of the disease, which will reduce stigma, improve care, and help strengthen the public fight to conquer this disease."
Topics covered in the four films are:
- What is Alzheimer's Disease?
- An Urgent Epidemic
- The Race to the Cure
- A Message for Patients and their Families
The films are designed to help individuals understand and explain the disease in layperson's terms, including doctors, nurses, caregivers, social workers, scientists, and others. By utilizing the latest technology and social media tools, they can easily be viewed practically everywhere—at home, at work, or in a doctor's office.
"The looming threat of Alzheimer's disease consuming the Baby Boomer generation urgently demands a national plan of action that involves government and the private sector," said Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research. "We encourage everyone to view and share these films so that there is broad understanding of what is at stake."
"We are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's. These pocket films will increase awareness and understanding of Alzheimer's, its impact and the importance of research," said Sibyl Jacobson, President, MetLife Foundation.
Since 1986, the MetLife Foundation has supported research on Alzheimer's disease through its Awards for Medical Research program and has contributed more than $10 million to efforts to find a cure.
The Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education.