I’m also happy that, in her acceptance speech, she mentioned that it is important that Alzheimer’s patients are being seen and given a voice.
Avoiding the issue and pretending that it isn’t happening prevents early diagnosis and vital early treatment. Talking about the disease more openly will help raise wider awareness and hopefully result in increased research funding. It will also help the patients and their families to show them that they are not alone.
All these points were made by Julianne – what a gracious gesture during her moment of glory.
Money needs to go into research to tackle the illness that affects an ever growing number of people. And for that we need said awareness so that politicians and financers pick up on the subject. Films and media can help to do that.
It was exactly that what motivated me in writing my novel about Alzheimers, TIME TO LET GO.
I’ve struggled for a long time after I had written the book, wondering if I could put it out there. Some friends told me they wouldn’t be able to read it because it might be too close to their own situations.
Are writers allowed to be explicit about something that can be felt as embarrassing? Can we peek into someone’s life and suffering? How far can we go in our endeavour to educate and illustrate intimate family situations? Where is the line of hurting someone’s dignity?
It’s a very difficult line to draw. I hope I have shown just enough of how bad things can get in my book to raise awareness of what families are going through, without going too far. I’m dying now to see STILL ALICE now and see how they handled that issue.
Please go and see the film and talk about it. Maybe someone will hear you and go to the Doctor. Early diagnosis is vital. Hearing more people talk about it also important to break down the feelings of isolation that sufferers and their friends may feel.
There is a lot of information out there, on the Internet and via helplines and organisations, but not everyone is comfortable using them.
Go and spread the word!