Alzheimer's Association Invites Friends, Policymakers To View Gripping PBS Documentary, "The Forgetting"

Alzheimer's Association
Tuesday, 9 December 2003

House Parties will help raise awareness and understanding of the disease

In advance of the airing of "The Forgetting Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic" on Jan. 21, 2004, the Alzheimer's Association invites families nationwide to sign up to host House Parties for groups of friends, family and neighbors to watch and discuss the documentary.

"Organizing a House Party is easy, and we already have more than 400 House Parties scheduled in 36 states," said Mike Splaine, Alzheimer's Association director of state policy and advocacy programs. "The Alzheimer's Association's House Party kit has everything a host needs from invitations to post-film discussion topic suggestions." To sign up for a House Party, contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800.272.3900 or visit

"The Forgetting" is a two-hour documentary that will help Americans better understand that Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging, that it exacts a devastating toll on millions of Americans and millions more of their family members and caregivers, and that breakneck efforts through research are underway to find the cause, prevention, treatments, and cure," said Splaine. "Several family stories are told throughout the documentary that mirror what is happening in millions of other homes and care facilities here and across the country. Viewers will see how families are coping with the effects of Alzheimer's despite the emotional, physical and financial havoc it wreaks."

The documentary also focuses on the myriad effects Alzheimer's has on business, health care and society today and in the future as the number of people with Alzheimer's disease increases. According to the Alzheimer's Association, 4.5 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer's disease today and that figure is estimated to be between 11 16 million by 2050. Today, nearly 20 million Americans have a family member with the disease and 37 million Americans say they know someone with Alzheimer's. In less than 10 years, the first of the nation's 76 million baby boomers will start turning 65 and will enter the age of greatest risk for developing Alzheimer's.

Individuals who have requested House Party information often have shared their reasons for hosting a party, according to Splaine. "Jane Ochrymowycz in Minnesota will host a house party to help her neighbors understand that Alzheimer's disease is not a simple problem and that we need to work to fund research and support services," he said. "Bob Bowen, who is a manager of the Alzheimer's and Dementia unit of an assisted living facility in California, plans to not only invite friends, but also his state representative. Bob said that people in his line of work have an ongoing role as educators and he wants to use every opportunity he can to educate others. Cliff Blinman, a retired priest from Arizona said he's hosting a party because the disease 'holds a special place in my heart.' His wife was diagnosed at a relatively early age and he said they had 'so many plans.'"

The documentary is based on David Shenk's book on Alzheimer's, The Forgetting-Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic.

For more information, or to contact Alzheimer's Association, see their website at:

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