Colorado Public Television Partners with the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado to Air “The Sum Total of Our Memory: Facing Alzheimer’s Together”
Denver (February 1, 2017) – Colorado Public Television and the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado will present THE SUM TOTAL OF OUR MEMORY, FACING ALZHEIMER’S TOGETHER, a film by award-winning filmmaker Barbara Klutinis, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, followed by a live in-studio discussion during which the panel will answer audience questions. The film and taped discussion will rebroadcast the same evening at 9 p.m.
Dr. Luis Medina, one of Colorado’s leading Alzheimer’s researchers from University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and a Colorado couple dealing with Alzheimer’s will join co-hosts Dominic Dezzutti, public affairs program director and vice president of Colorado Public Television, and Amelia Schafer, vice president of programs for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado. The focus for this special presentation is on Alzheimer's research and caregiving.
Klutinis’ film follows three married couples, each with one partner with Alzheimer’s and one caregiver, as they share their family’s challenges, coping mechanisms and successes as they progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s. Her film captures the kind of unvarnished and candid discussions that emerge in dealing with the disease, and illustrate that there are ways that families develop to help cope with the challenges.
Klutinis’ inspiration for the film was born from her personal experience: her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010.
“I did not know how we were going to get through the ordeal ahead of us,” she said. “Feeling alone and isolated, I suggested that we join an Alzheimer’s support group run by our local Alzheimer’s organization. At our first meeting, there were only two married couples but, as the years went by, more people joined our group to make up the 11 couples we have now. We became, in an odd sort of way, a family.”
Alzheimer’s disease is arguably the greatest single challenge facing the global healthcare system in the coming decades. The No. 6 killer of people in the United States and the only leading disease without a prevention, treatment or cure, Alzheimer’s affects 5.4 million people in the U.S. today (47 million globally), with totals expected to top 16 million by 2050 (132 million worldwide).
In Colorado, 67,000 people are currently living with Alzheimer’s. With a 37 percent growth rate of the disease, totals in Colorado will top 92,000 by 2025.
Alzheimer’s also has an enormous impact on the healthcare system and Medicare funding. Nearly $1 of every $5 in Medicare funding is spent on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. By 2050, that is projected to be $1 of every $3.
"The scope of this disease has inspired Colorado Public Television to devote its entire prime time Wednesday broadcast to this ground-breaking documentary and live discussion about the impacts Alzheimer’s has on Colorado's family and health resources,” said Kim Johnson, general manager of Colorado Public Television. Johnson added, “An evening of programming such as this, bringing a tight focus on an important issue impacting so many Coloradans, is a prime example of our mission to serve all aspects of our community.”
Questions may be submitted to the panelists in advance of the program by sending them to the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Colorado Public Television at email@example.com.
The Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter is the premier source of information and support for the more than 67,000 Coloradans with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers. Through its statewide network of offices, the Alzheimer’s Association offers education, counseling, support groups and a 24-hour Helpline at no charge to families. In addition, contributions help fund advancements in research to prevent, treat and eventually conquer this disease. The Alzheimer’s Association advocates for those living with Alzheimer’s and their families on related legislative issues, and with health and long-term care providers. For information call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 bilingual Helpline at 800-272-3900, or visit alz.org/co.