Families who have lived with Alzheimer's disease share their personal stories and proclaim "Now Is the Moment" to end this life-shattering disease, in a moving set of public service announcements (PSAs).
The PSAs, produced by the nonprofit BrightFocus Foundation, offer the inspiring words and pictures of seven families affected by Alzheimer's disease—as patients, loved ones, and caregivers. They talk about the challenges involved, offer advice, and call for more awareness of the disease. The campaign is part of an effort to empower individuals to take action against Alzheimer's.
Audiences can then find out more about Alzheimer's and the families' stories by visiting www.brightfocus.org/LearnMore.
"We created this public education campaign to increase awareness, encourage honest communication, and dismantle the stigma associated with this devastating disease," said Stacy Pagos Haller, president and CEO of BrightFocus Foundation. "These families are very honest about their suffering, but they also share what they learned from their loved ones and why finding a cure for Alzheimer's is so important."
More than 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and another 15 million people—primarily family members—provide unpaid care for them. "These are some of their stories," noted Haller:
- "It was so gut-wrenching, because this was the time in their life where they were supposed to be enjoying the fruits of their labor." Lisa Spikell, on her ill mother and exhausted father.
- "I came to learn that I needed to stay in the moment with my mother and not think about how she was before or how it was going to be later. If the experience with my mother taught me anything, it was to be present..." Grace Frisone, BrightFocus Board Chair.
- "What's been troubling are the legal issues that we've had to go through. It's also quite financially straining for families." sisters Alice McDonald and Beatriz Gonzalez, who are caring for their father.
- "It changes your life because you have to add so much more of yourself into caring for your family member." Art Taylor
The PSAs are presented in three different lengths in English and in a 30-second Spanish version. Spots are online at www.brightfocus.org/alzpsa.