The Caring Corner - Blog

The Oscars puts Alzheimer’s in the spotlight

By Emma Dickison

The 2015 Academy Awards (aka “The Oscars”) cast a strong light on the pains of Alzheimer’s disease last night. The disease was featured in not one, but two awards, including Best Actress and Best Original Song.

Glen Campbell’s Oscar-nominated “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” performed by Tim McGraw

Glen Campbell, the 78-year-old “Rhinestone Cowboy,” was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and had to be moved to a memory care facility last year. Before he entered the final stages of the disease, however, Campbell performed a final tour. The moving series of concerts was captured in the documentary “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me,” helping to illustrate the incredible impact of music on the brain, as well as Campbell’s remarkable story.

In what is sure to be remembered as one of the most touching moments of the 2015 Oscars, Tim McGraw performed Campbell’s ballad “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the film. The love song to his family, the last Campbell wrote, is a poignant message about not feeling his loved ones’ pain as his health deteriorates.

You can watch the video of Tim McGraw’s Oscar performance below:

Although “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” didn’t win the award, the nomination and this moving performance gave important visibility to a disease currently affecting over 5 million Americans and their families.

Julianne Moore wins Best Actress Oscar for “Still Alice”

The film “Still Alice,” based on the book by Lisa Genova, portrays an accomplished professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The powerful lead performance by Julianne Moore was honored with an Oscar trophy for Best Actress.

Recognizing the film highlights an under-recognized illness on a national stage, so the win was a victory not just for Moore, but also for Alzheimer’s awareness.

I’m thrilled that we were hopefully able to shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease. So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized. And one of the wonderful things about movies is that it makes us feel seen and not alone. People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so we can find a cure.

—Julianne Moore

You can watch the Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech video below:

Featured photo: "OSCARS statuettes" by Prayitno licensed under CC BY 2.0