Alice is a professional, highly educated, and highly respected woman who has successfully raised three children and maintained a marriage. She is healthy, active, and appears to have everything the American dream consists of. Until she begins to lose the part of her that she feels most defines her - her cognitive functioning.
According to Mayo Clinic, dementia ...
..."describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning."
Alice (played by Julianne Moore) begins to change, and declines fairly rapidly with her diagnosis of rare early onset Alzheimer's. While the movie is limited by time, we get a snapshot of how the world of a confident woman is turned upside, her family core shaken, and how family roles change. Incidents of seemingly normal forgetfulness turns to forgetting how to do mundane tasks, not recognizing places, forgetting family members. As she struggles, her husband and children struggle and roles change.
As in any real situation in which a family member becomes chronically or terminally ill, there are people who fade away and there are people who step up and take care of the ailing person. We watch these dynamics unfold in this love story.
This movie brought me to tears. During some of the hard-to-watch scenes as Alice deteriorates as well as during some of the scenes that we witness how she is loved during this very difficult time. We learn very few of the facts of Early Onset Dementia. Instead, this is a very intimate look at one woman, one family, and the many feelings that dementia brings. I wish I could describe my thoughts about the movie in-depth but I don't want to risk a spoiler. Instead, I want the seasons of her life to unfold in front of you as they did in front of me.
Just don't forget to bring the tissues.
For more personal stories of living with a loved one who has Alzheimer's:
|Chicken Soup for the Soul|
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