Paulan Gordon in June 2015
“Still Alice” Movie and Book Reactions
I read the book a couple of weeks ago, and last night saw the movie at a free AARP members screening.
I preferred the book because it explained the inner workings of Alice’s mind as she confronted each of the challenges we (PWD’s) face such as lost skills and abilities and careers, the word search we deal with, even getting lost in her own house (happens to me all the time if the night lights are out). It also allowed more time to think about each loss as it is presented in the movie.
However, I would strongly recommend the movie to be seen at home with your caregiver. The theater environment was not great (people laughing etc.) and left no room for discussion as Alice’s symptoms increased (I think many of them were there just because it was a free movie). I believe it is available for home viewing.
The movie did a nice job of explaining why we see so many semi-functioning persons with dementia. We often find doctors, a lot of nurses, and other business professionals in our support groups. I think that people notice a decline more quickly in high performers who develop dementia. Also, I believe that high performers are able to find adaptations so that they can try to manage their symptoms for a longer period of time.
I wish the book and movie addressed the middle stage of dementia more, and what I mean by that is Alice goes from mild forgetfulness to full blown dementia very quickly. There is no mention of the possibility that people are living well with dementia for many years after they have been diagnosed.
Assisted suicide is addressed briefly in the movie as Alice reads a message she sent to herself telling her to take all the pills in the hidden location and not to tell anyone. And, her spouse at one point in the movie bluntly asked her “Do you want to keep living like this?”
I think it’s a book to reread!
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Thanks Paulan. Your entry is in this month’s “Perspectives” newsletter https://paper.li/f-1408973778