“The Hidden Cost of Dementia,” produced by Severna Park filmmakers, will have its public TV premiere on Maryland Public Television (MPT) at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 21. The half-hour film examines the economic and emotional impacts of dementia on families and on society as a whole. A trailer for the film is available at www.spentdementia.com.
The broadcast comes as the nation observes both Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month. In light of these observances, the film will also be available on MPT’s video player at https://video.mpt.tv from November 22-30.
This timely film introduces viewers to families in the throes of this disease. Through expert interviews and personal and intimate stories, “SPENT: The Hidden Cost of Dementia” reveals a world in the midst of a public health crisis and sheds light on ways to cope with this devastating illness and its financial impacts.
Emmy Award-winning husband and wife filmmakers Daphne Glover and Robert Ferrier experienced this crisis firsthand. Seven years ago, Daphne's aging mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Faced with the emotional and financial costs of this disease, the couple felt compelled to tell their story.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior that can be severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies and social life. The disease can eventually affect a person’s ability to carry out routine daily activities. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death for those aged 65 years and older.
The CDC also reports that 80% of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are receiving care in their homes. Each year, more than 16 million Americans provide in excess of 17 billion hours of unpaid care for family and friends with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association reports that 13.8 million people age 65 and older are projected to have Alzheimer’s dementia by 2040. Data also show that one in 10 people age 65 and older are affected, older African Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older whites, and nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.