Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts
On Wednesday night at 10:00 pm, Public Broadcast Stations (WGBH, Channel 2 in Boston) will air Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts. It will focus on the projected explosive growth in the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s by 2050, and the impact this growth will have on our health care systems, families living with the disease, and the economy as a whole. The program also provides information on brain healthy life style practices that may prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, tips on how to have a good visit with someone with Alzheimer’s, and how to identify and alleviate caregiver stress.
There are 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today, and the documentary projects that as the Baby Boom generation ages, that figure will grow exponentially, topping out at 14 million cases in 2050. The program intersperses information from experts in the field with personal stories of families living with the disease.
A word of caution is in order. This production is clearly intended to ramp up public support for more government funding. In order to have maximum impact, it emphasizes the most difficult manifestations of the disease, which many people with Alzheimer’s never experience. Its population projections do not take into account recent findings that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s is decreasing, which may modulate but not eliminate the impact of the disease. Despite its dark portrayal, its intention to accelerate research is a goal to support.