“Still Alice” — a compassionate film about Alzheimer’s Disease

On a very long flight back from Vietnam last week, I had a chance to see the film “Still Alice” starring Kate Bosworth. What a sympathetic and genuine depiction of the distress experienced by Alice, an accomplished university professor, wife and mother, when she learns that she has developed Alzheimer’s Disease at age 50. The rapid progression of the genetically-based early Alzheimers is very well shown and her acting is marvelous. The array of reactions among the family members is also typical since each family member is experiencing the loss of “their Alice” in their own way. If you have a family member who is newly diagnosed or you are¬†involved in caregiving for them, the film is well worth seeing. Other helpful resources that I have found include How to Care for Aging Parents, an excellent guidebook, and the website Alzheimers Reading Room.

During my trip to Vietnam, I learned that there are limited numbers of nursing home type facilities. Instead, the social model is that the oldest son — and his wife if any — has always had the filial responsibility to take care of his aged parents. Sometimes he will leave his occupation and move back to their home or farm, and sometimes the parents will leave their home and move in with him. I talked to a variety of people who said that although they are not sure how they will manage the care of their parents and the care of their own families, this is something that they have always just expected to do. It is certainly true that even in the United States, many adult children caregivers have adopted this model as well. There are a wide range of arrangements one can make. It’s always interesting to see how things are done in different countries — that’s a benefit of travel.

 

For legal advice on structuring arrangements for elder care, call 732-382-6070

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