(DURHAM, January 7, 2004) – New Hampshire Public Television is joining a national PBS campaign to raise public awareness of the looming Alzheimer’s health crisis. A special documentary, follow-up programs and events offer insight, context, help and hope about the disease. Additionally, NHPTV is participating in community outreach activities (www.nhptv.org/outreach) to give Granite State citizens a deeper understanding of the disease and provide local resources for assistance. Alzheimer’s disease devastates individuals and their loved ones, slowly stealing memories until a once vital individual is left broken and helpless. Today, some five million Americans suffer from this heartbreaking disease, but a generational time bomb is ticking. With each passing year, as “baby boomers” approach the age of 65, America moves closer to the brink of an epidemic. While recent advances in medical research show exciting progress, effective therapies to combat the disease are still out of reach. On Wednesday, January 21 at 8 p.m., NHPTV will air The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s, a 90-minute documentary that explores the disease, the toll it takes on patients and caregivers, and the latest research on finding a cure. The Forgetting focuses on stories of families whose lives have been ravaged by Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s: The Help You Need, airing at 9:30 p.m., is a half-hour special hosted by award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce. A panel of experts will respond to questions and direct viewers to organizations and resources that can provide help. Having experienced the ravages of Alzheimer’s first-hand – through both his grandfather and his father – Hyde Pierce, best-known for his role as Niles Crane in the NBC comedy Frasier, has been a tireless advocate in the fight to find a cure. Then, at 10 p.m. on January 21, NH Outlook, NHPTV’s award-winning nightly magazine, will focus on how Alzheimer’s is affecting Granite State citizens and what resources are available for families and caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont and New Hampshire estimates that 20,000 individuals in New Hampshire suffer from the disease, while about 60,000 family, friends and caregivers are affected by the disease. "Alzheimer’s is increasingly a critical problem in New Hampshire communities," NHPTV’s Outreach Coordinator Lynn Zuccarelli Austin notes. "We welcome this outreach initiative and the opportunity it provides to mobilize local resources.” NHPTV is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont and New Hampshire, Seniors Count/Easter Seals, New Hampshire ServiceLink Network, and New Hampshire Library Association to organize special viewings of the program, panel discussions and memory screenings. For information on these and other community outreach events, local and national resources, go to www.nhptv.org/outreach. The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s was inspired by the best-selling book The Forgetting – Alzheimer’s: Portrait of an Epidemic, by David Shenk, who served as a consultant to the documentary and appears in it. NHPTV is one of 30 public television stations to be awarded a grant from MetLife Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through Twin Cities Public Television, with matching grant funds provided by the New Hampshire-based Doris L. Benz Trust. The funds support community outreach activities in conjunction with the broadcast of The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s. Beyond its award-winning local and national television programs, NHPTV is a leader in education and community outreach. NHPTV provides instructional services for 220,000 students from kindergarten through high school; offers Ready To Learn programs for children, preschool to age 12; and provides professional development programs and advanced technology training for parents, educators and child-care providers in New Hampshire and neighboring states. For more information about NHPTV programs that entertain, educate and enrich, visit www.nhptv.org.
About New Hampshire PBS: New Hampshire PBS inspires one million Granite Staters each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs and services on-air, online, via mobile, in classrooms and in communities. Beyond its award-winning television programs, New Hampshire PBS is a leader in education and community engagement. www.nhpbs.org
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