Thousands of Americans develop Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease while still in their prime.
Approximately 200,000 Americans develop younger early-onset Alzheimer's Disease in their 40s and 50s. When you envision Alzheimer's disease, you often imagine an elderly individual residing in a memory care community, gradually losing their memory. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that Alzheimer's can impact people much earlier in their lives. Numerous Americans develop Alzheimer's while still in the prime of their lives, balancing full-time jobs, supporting their families, and caring for young children.
Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease
The term "younger onset" applies to anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer's before the age of 65. These individuals and their families face unique challenges and often feel isolated, as there are fewer resources available to support them.
To address this need, Susan Frick and her colleagues created the thought-provoking documentary "Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease." Frick, a social worker for the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, is also the director of Without Warning, a support program specifically designed for individuals and families affected by younger onset Alzheimer's. The documentary follows the lives of nine families who are members of Without Warning, offering an intimate and personal look into their experiences.
The families involved in the film graciously welcomed camera crews into their homes, sharing their stories with vulnerability and openness. Frick, who has been directing the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center's younger onset Alzheimer's support group for 14 years, was present for almost every film shoot, witnessing the incredible process unfold.
The idea for "Too Soon to Forget" originated from the support group members, who wanted to shed light on what it is like to live with Alzheimer's at a younger age.
Through this film, Frick hopes to convey the emotional journey that individuals with Alzheimer's and their families go through, emphasizing that it is not an easy process, especially for those with younger onset Alzheimer's.
As an official site for the Rush Memory and Aging Project, The Birches is fortunate to participate in Rush University's long-term study on Alzheimer's risk factors. This opportunity allows many residents of The Birches to be part of the screening process for "Too Soon to Forget." Located in suburban Chicagoland, The Birches is one of the few sites in the area with the privilege of showcasing this eye-opening film.
Jackie Sander, Executive Director of The Birches, believes that the film will profoundly impact individuals affected by younger onset Alzheimer's, letting them know that they are not alone in their journey. Sharing this film with the community is a valuable opportunity to raise awareness and support those facing this challenging disease.