For those who may have questions about Alzheimer's care, or just what the disease can do and its effects on both the patient and relatives, a large-scale effort by HBO may shed new light on the topic.
Starting May 10, four documentaries will run on the channel. The first installment is Memory Tapes that follows seven patients who are in progressing stages of the cognitive illness including a woman in an assisted living facility who thinks the image in the mirror is her "best friend.
"When my father was diagnosed, this was not a disease that people wanted to talk about," said Maria Shriver, the executive producer of the project, to Reuters. "The more families sit down and have these open, honest conversations where everybody can air their questions and express their fears - that is empowering and really helpful."
Other projects include a website that has short, supplemental films as well as opportunities for community outreach.
Viewers who continue to follow the series will also find out about the research being done to alleviate and cure the disease, as well as the experiences of relatives who are coming to grips with a loved one's illness.