The American Health Assistance Foundation and the Asbury Methodist Village Host Special Community Screenings and Discussion of the HBO Series, The Alzheimer’s Project

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CLARKSBURG, MD.—The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) and the Asbury Methodist Village are partnering to host a special community screening and discussion of the HBO Series, The Alzheimer’s Project to bring awareness to the community about this devastating disease and to share caregiving tips and information on cutting edge research.

Two parts of the four part documentary will be aired on two separate Thursday evenings, July 30th and August 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre of the Rosborough Community Building at the Asbury Methodist Village, 409 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Event signs will be posted guiding attendees to the building and parking.

The event is free and open to the public and an RSVP to Amy Ostrolenk, 301-216-4747 is appreciated.

The Thursday, July 30, 2009 event will feature the HBO series segment on Caregivers, a collection of five family portraits that illustrate caring for those in different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Each highlights the sacrifices, struggles, and successes made by those experiencing their loved ones’ challenges with the disease of dementia.

Following the screening a presentation and discussion session will be facilitated by Barbara Mansfield, a licensed clinical counselor who has been at Asbury since 1993.   In her 15 years at Asbury, she has served as the Director of Social Services for the Wilson Health Care Center and Director of Social Services for assisted living.  Ms. Mansfield has also been a lecturer for the Pastoral Care Department and the Education and Training Department at Asbury.  She has facilitated an Alzheimer’s Association support group at Asbury Methodist Village since 1994, and she is currently the social worker on the Dementia Special Care Unit at the Wilson Health Care Center.  Ms. Mansfield is also the daughter of a mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. 

She will address some of the more difficult challenges that caregiver’s face and the need for caregivers to find ways to take care of themselves. “I have learned so much from the caregivers who attend our support group and from the families of our residents who have dementia.  They constantly reaffirm my belief that, in their own way, love and faithfulness are stronger than any disease,” said Ms. Mansfield.

The Thursday, August 13, 2009 screening will present Part 1 of the Momentum in Science segment of the HBO documentary which details the current explosion of knowledge within the scientific and medical communities—from imaging the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, to understanding the roles that genetics and lifestyle might play, to the tremendous and exciting progress being made in the effort to develop drugs to treat or even prevent the disease.

A presentation will follow the screening featuring J. Kevin Foskett Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology and Chair of the Cell Biology and Physiology Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. “Dr. Foskett is an American Health Assistance Foundation 2008 grantee whose work is certainly groundbreaking, involving research into the relationship between a protein called presenilin and the brain’s way of regulating calcium concentrations. Dr. Foskett has shown that presenilin disrupts the regulated calcium in cells causing a cascade of events including accumulation of free radicals, which can run amuck and ultimately lead to Alzheimer’s disease. His work also looks at how the altered calcium signaling affects brain cell pathways and communication,” said Guy Eakin, Ph.D., Director of Research Grants, American Health Assistance Foundation.

Dr. Foskett will also discuss Alzheimer’s disease research generally and facilitate the discussion portion of the program.

Each evening will end with light refreshments and the opportunity to gather up informational pamphlets and brochures about Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information call 301-556-9365 or visit the The Alzheimer's Project: Screening and Discussion page.

About the American Health Assistance Foundation:

AHAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for age-related and degenerative diseases by funding research worldwide on Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. AHAF also provides the public with free information about these diseases, including risk factors, preventative lifestyles, available treatments, and coping strategies.

About Asbury Methodist Village:

Asbury Methodist Village (AMV) is A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that brings together in one location a diverse selection of residence choices, lifestyle options, services, health care and amenities. This creates an environment designed to meet the needs and desires of a wide range of seniors. At AMV, continuing care also means an emphasis on wellness, helping seniors remain as healthy and active as possible. Furthermore, by definition, a CCRC continues to meet the needs of individual seniors as their needs change over time. The result is genuine peace of mind on a 130-acre private retreat with softly rolling hills, elegant landscaping, and lovely ponds.