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Trend alert: “Friends with Benefits”

No, it's not the friends with benefits trend I'm taking about here. That's so 20s and 30s (as in people in that generation.)

The trend I'm talking about is the father character in the 2011 movie of the same name which I watched this weekend on cable. The father of the main character has early Alzheimer's. And though movie reviewer Roger Ebert calls it “movie Alzheimer's” which he describes as: “the form of the disease where the victim has perfectly timed lucid moments to deliver crucial speeches, and then relapses.”

But I found the depiction pretty true to life. (My dad had Alzheimer's for seven years). And so this is the trend I'll be tracking: more characters in movies and plays with Alzheimer's as more playwrights and screenwriters experience it with their older family members.

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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