Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Sponsors There Is a Bridge Documentary: Supports Memory Bridge’s Efforts to Show Ways to Remain Connected to Those with Alzheimer’s


10.15.07

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a national nonprofit organization based in New York, has become the lead sponsor of the new documentary There is a Bridge, airing on public television stations nationwide.  The film reveals different ways of communicating with those who have dementia and explores how these emotionally profound relationships can change our lives. The documentary was produced by Memory Bridge: The Foundation for Alzheimer’s and Cultural Memory.

“We are deeply gratified that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has become the lead sponsor for There Is a Bridge,” says Michael Verde, founder and president, Memory Bridge. “Their support helps us to provide hope to millions of caregivers and family members of people with Alzheimer’s that their loved ones are not gone.”  Verde adds, “Exploring ways to stay connected to people with Alzheimer’s and severe dementia will be a major societal issue as today’s 5 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease triples by 2050.”

There Is a Bridge, which is airing on public television stations nationwide, challenges conventional notions of people with Alzheimer's as "unreachable" and Alzheimer’s disease as "the first of two deaths.”  Interviews with preeminent thinkers and footage of family members, care partners, and schoolchildren building emotionally rich relationships with people with dementia illuminates depths of memory and personal identity not erased by Alzheimer’s disease.

“Memory Bridge has developed a unique film that looks at Alzheimer’s disease and dementia from a spiritual and deeply personal perspective—a powerful theme that needs to be addressed more in the public discussion about the disease,” says Eric J. Hall, AFA chief executive officer.  “We’re pleased to be able to support this important documentary, and we are certain that it will have a lasting impact on viewers and bring awareness of this heartbreaking disease to a new level.”

As part of the sponsorship agreement, AFA will have its logo at the beginning and end of the documentary in future airings, as well as promote the documentary on its Web site and care Advantage™, its quarterly publication for caregivers that reaches 600,000 readers. Both organizations will link their Web sites and promote the sponsorship in other communications.
 
Hosted by former United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, There Is a Bridge explores the deep, complex nature of human solidarity by weaving together mental health, psychology, art, philosophy and education to highlight individuals and ground breaking programs reaching out to elders affected by Alzheimer's.

Produced in 2007 by Michael Verde, founder and president of Memory Bridge, and directed by Emmy-award winner Ted Kay, There Is a Bridge is supplied by TMK Productions and presented by American Public Television through the Exchange Service at no cost to public television stations nationwide.