Film focuses on early onset dementia

When you think of Alzheimer’s or dementia, you probably think of an older adult. Contrary to popular belief, early onset Alzheimer’s affects people younger than age 65. They have families, careers or may even be caregivers to someone else when the disease strikes. Up to 5 percent of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s have younger onset.

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is partnering with the Pierce County Library System to offer “Too Soon to Forget,” a powerful series including a documentary and follow-up discussion. There is no RSVP required. Six free screenings will be held in November:

Nov. 4 – 12:30 p.m., Lakewood Branch Library, 6300 Wildaire Road in Lakewood

Nov. 5 – 6:30 p.m., Pierce County Soundview Building, 3602 Pacific Ave., in Tacoma

Nov. 6 – 5:30 p.m., Key Center Branch Library, 8905 Key Peninsula Highway NW., in Lakebay

Nov. 8 – 1 p.m., South Hill Branch Library, 15420 Meridian E., in South Hill

Nov. 9 – 11 a.m., Parkland/Spanaway Branch Library, 13718 Pacific Ave. S., in Tacoma

Nov. 13 – 6:30 p.m., University Place Branch Library, 3609 Market Place W., in University Place

Getting an accurate diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s can be a long and frustrating process. Healthcare providers generally don’t look for Alzheimer’s disease in younger people and symptoms may be incorrectly attributed to stress or other factors. Although there are many resources for those coping with Alzheimer’s, very little information is available specifically for those facing younger-onset. This lack of information and support leaves many families feeling misunderstood and often disregarded.

“November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “It is an opportune time for us to learn more about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and how the symptoms manifest themselves. For the sake of the individual as well as the family, the importance of recognizing the symptoms and pursuing appropriate medical advice cannot be stressed enough.”

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources helps families caring for loved ones with case management, education and connection to supportive services, resources and programs. To learn more about these services contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600.

- Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources