“Still Alice” is a recently-released movie about a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It tells the story of university professor Dr Alice Howland. The disease causes memory and thinking problems. Alice is ashamed of the effects the disease has on her. The movie is based on a novel by Lisa Genova, whose grandmother had dementia. Alice is realistically portrayed by Julianne Moore who has won many awards for her performance, including an Oscar. “Still Alice” is a sad movie that offers little hope to those with Alzheimer’s.
Seeing MS is an innovative project that launched in 2014. It aims to make visible some of the hidden symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Around 20,000 Australians live with MS. It affects the central nervous system. Many of its symptoms are invisible. Through this project, nine photographs were created. Each one shows a particular symptom. An app was also developed. It allows people to put special filters onto their photographs to show what it is like to have MS. This project has had many positive outcomes. People with MS say it’s easier now to explain their experience of the illness.
“The Theory of Everything” is an award-winning film about Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most-known scientists. He is also well known because he has motor neuron disease. The movie is based on a book written by his first wife Jane Wilde Hawking. The movie does not sensationalise his disability. Instead, it shows him and his wife facing life’s frustrations with optimism. Eddie Redmayne convincingly portrays Hawking. Redmayne and the movie have been nominated for a number of Academy Awards. It is a movie for those who enjoy entertaining biographical dramas.
What are the advantages of using a guide dog rather than a white cane? A woman once told me I needed a dog to guide me across the road. Vicki and Maribel both use guide dogs. Vicki likes that her guide dog helps her to avoid branches and holes on the ground. Maribel feels more independent with a guide dog. You need to be organised if you have a guide dog. It can also be costly to care for the dog. I like to use a cane. When a cane breaks, you can replace it. And after a day’s travel you can throw it into a corner.
I recently went to a jobs fair. There were about 200 people there. People with disabilities went to talk about looking for work with people who may be able to guide them. These included people from McDonalds, Bunnings, Victoria Police and Lord of the Fries. Those looking for jobs needed to say a few words about what they had done and were interested in. This helped them to find the best jobs to apply for. The fair is a great chance to build your confidence and meet new people. It could also help you find a job.
“Will to live’ is a book about Matthew Ames who has to have both arms and legs amputated after a catastrophic infection. The book describes his struggles on how to relearn to eat, talk and use his body. The first part of the book is written by his wife Diane who talks about the events leading up to, and including the amputations. The second part written by Matthew is about his rehabilitation and adapting to a changed life.