When Barbara Klutinis’ husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she had no idea how she was going to get through the ordeal ahead of her. After joining a support group and hearing the stories of others going through the same thing, Klutinis realized she was not alone. Inspired by the experience, she decided to make a documentary about the lives of couples coping with the disease. The film, “The Sum Total of Our Memory: Facing Alzheimer’s Together,” will screen at the NOVA International Film Festival Friday, April 17, 1 p.m., at the Angelika Film Center in Fairfax.
In the documentary, couples affected by a partner’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s come to terms with their changing roles. Prominent Alzheimer’s medical experts also offer their perspectives on diagnosis, the nature of the disease in the aging brain, helpful attitudes in caring for loved ones and overall healthcare concerns. “These are not famous people like Glen Campbell and Ronald Reagan,” said Klutinis, “but everyday people struggling alongside a diagnosis of a terrible illness. As this epidemic spreads further into our aging population of baby-boomers there will be more and more stories just like these.”
The film is also available for purchase on DVD at thesumtotalmovie.com.