Documentary on positive imact of the arts on Alzheimer’s to air on Chicago PBS station WTTW and nationwide in November 2014

I Remember Better When I Paint to air on Chicago Public Broadcasting station WTTW on Thursday, November 6 at 10:00pm and Friday, November 7 at 4:00pm.

Narrated by screen legend Olivia de Havilland, I Remember Better When I Paint reveals the ways day-care centers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are employing creative therapies to treat Alzheimer’s patients.

This informative documentary offers pivotal new insights about the transformative power of drawing, painting, music and museum visits for those living with Alzheimer’s and related memory disorders. Through personal stories and interviews with noted physicians, the film explores the benefits of this approach, including an improved quality of life for the patient and a restored dialogue with their caregivers.

Inspiring personal stories highlight the transformative impact of art and other creative therapies and how they are changing the way we look at Alzheimer’s. Among those who are featured are Yasmin Aga Khan, president of Alzheimer’s Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer’s.

The inspiration for the documentary was the painter Hilgos, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1930s.

In her later years while struggling with Alzheimer’s, she stated “I remember better when I paint”. With students from the Art Institute of Chicago facilitating, and encouragement from Dr. Lawrence Lazarus, a Chicago area geriatric psychiatrist, Hilgos began painting again. Painting allowed Hilgos to maintain, and even regain, some of her core identity, and her extraordinary enthusiasm and energy while living with memory loss.

Leading doctors and neurologists explain how parts of the brain can be spared and discuss the life-enriching benefits of these new  approaches. Among these experts are Dr. Robert Butler, a founding director of the National Institutes on Aging (NIH) and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Dr. Samuel Gandy of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Robert Green of Brigham, Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and Dr. Avertano Noronha of The University of Chicago.

This film, directed by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, is presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation.

For nationwide broadcast dates, click here.

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