On the Front Lines of Alzheimer's & Dementia

Ask the Experts by The Family Center

A special Ask the Experts interview with documentary film director, Keith Famie

On December 6, 2017, The Family Center, in partnership with The War Memorial, Grosse Pointe News, Grosse Pointe Magazine and producer/director Keith Famie, will be showing a special long-format trailer for the upcoming documentary film in production "On the Front Lines of Alzheimer's & Dementia." Mr. Famie spoke with us about the film and the devastating illness it highlights.

FC: Why did you want to make this film?

KF: Over the years I have produced a three-part series about aging, all of which aired on PBS here in Michigan.

  • The Embrace of Aging: Men - 7 parts
  • The Embrace of Aging: Women - 13 parts
  • The Embrace of Dying: How we deal with the end of life - 8 parts

During these productions I encountered many dementia-related stories and in 2003 I lost my father to Alzheimer's. I was his principal caregiver and learned first-hand just how devastating this disease is for patients and loved ones. Now at 57 I felt it was time to produce a film that can help the baby boomer generation on their cognitive aging journey.

FC: What do you want to accomplish by showing the extended trailer to an audience at The War Memorial?

KF: I want the Grosse Pointe community to understand the significance of this film's production. I am hoping we might find a few individuals who have been touched by a form of dementia in their family that may want to help support our film's production. We will be showing a long-format 30-minute trailer which will feature the recent filming that took place in Grosse Pointe. http://ontodaysfrontlines.com/alzheimers/prod/171108_GrossePointe.html

The film is slated to be complete in the spring of 2018 and will be released on PBS here in Michigan. We will be planning a large premier of the 90-minute theatrical release for the Grosse Pointe community in support of local organizations there that help families who are caring for someone with a form of dementia.

FC: Why is this topic relevant to our audience?

KF: Never in our history have we had so many people aging simultaneously. Baby boomers can live longer and healthier if they take care of themselves and each other. We know this film will help thousands who are on this journey.

FC: Can you share with us the more startling finding of the film and your research?

KF: We are just now stepping into the deep end of the pool and engaging with a wide range of experts, so this information is coming at us fast and fierce. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's is the number one fear of the aging population, so it's no surprise that just about everyone in the medical community is working hard to better understand the complexities of the disease and our brains.

A very simple, common sense understanding I have taken away from what I have learned so far is this "How we live our lives today will determine how we age tomorrow." What we eat, how regularly we exercise, the friends we keep and how actively we keep our brain engaged will help slow down a cognitive decline.

More information about this documentary can be found at http://ontodaysfrontlines.com/alzheimers/ or on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FrontLinesofAlzheimers.

To register for the December 6, 2017 showing, visit: www.warmemorial.org/familycenter.

Read a recent Grosse Pointe News article about the making of the film View PDF

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