Virtually every family in America has been touched by Alzheimerâ€™s or other forms of dementia. Alzheimerâ€™s itself is the sixth-leading cause of death in America, with one in three older adults dying of the disease.
Few films capture the reality of Alzheimerâ€™s better than â€œIris,â€ starring Judi Dench, Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent. The love story traces the relationship of a couple from their college student days, through a loving marriage, to the final days when Iris is overtaken by Alzheimerâ€™s.
A free showing of the movie, sponsored by the Alzheimerâ€™s Associationâ€™s Washington chapter, will be held at the Grand Cinema at 606 Fawcett Ave. in Tacoma on June 28 at 6:15 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required by calling 253-798-8787.
The screening will include informational resources and services for families on the journey with Alzheimerâ€™s. A panel of providers in Pierce County will lead a short discussion after the film.
â€œIrisâ€ is based on the true story of Irish novelist Iris Murdoch and her relationship with John Bayley. Dame Jean Iris Murdoch was an Anglo-Irish novelist and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, â€œUnder the Net,â€ was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
While research continues at a feverish pace, today there is still no cure for Alzheimerâ€™s or dementia. There are several medications available to help ease symptoms, the Alzheimerâ€™s Association notes, and caregivers have numerous resources to help in their caregiving duties â€“ support groups, educational opportunities, respite programs and more.
The Alzheimerâ€™s Association provides a 24/7 helpline, care consultation, education, advocacy, early stage programs, and a virtual library. The organization was involved with the creation of Washington Stateâ€™s Plan to Address Alzheimerâ€™s Disease and Other Dementias (2016).
Information about the showing of â€œIrisâ€ is available from Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 and www.pierceadrc.org.