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October 16, 2023 Leanne Hoppe 3 min read

CVCOA and Partners Hold Community Film Screening of Keys Bags Names Words at Savoy Theater

Montpelier, VT (October 5, 2023): Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA), along with Vermont Department of Health, Montpelier Senior Activity Center, Barre Area Senior Center, Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living, and Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont, will host a community film screening of Keys Bags Names Words: Hope in Aging and Dementia, a documentary about people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias who share stories of heartbreak and hope in aging.  

Open to the public and offered by donation at Montpelier’s Savoy Theater, the film will be shown on October 28, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., which includes a post-film discussion. This will be a dementia-friendly event. A ramp in front of the building provides accessibility in entering, and 3 audio enhancement listening devices will be available from the Savoy Theater. Lights will be kept on low during the screening to allow people to walk around the space safely as needed. Those interested in attending can RSVP to Luke Rackers at CVCOA, at [email protected] or simply show up for the screening.  

Keys Bags Names Words is a quirky and inspiring lens portraying stories of  both the personal and global impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, while following a cohort of young scientists and artists from around the world as they harness every aspect of creativity, humor and compassion to lead the way towards hope and resilience.  

“Dementia is a growing public health concern, and many of us experience this ourselves or through a loved one, or face the challenges as a caregiver,” says Gillian Shapiro, chronic disease prevention specialist with the Health Department’s local Barre office. Although age is the biggest risk factor – one in seven Vermont adults aged 45 and older reported worsening confusion or memory loss – Shapiro says it is not a normal part of aging. “Brain health is unique to each of us,” says Shapiro. “This is why the stories of lived experiences in this film are so important, so we can start conversations about how to improve our brain health and support those who are living with dementia, their families, and their care partners. This screening event is intended to bring people together to share, connect, find support, and instill hope.” 

Barb Asen, Director of Family Caregiver Support at CVCOA, explains, “There is a growing need to get familiar with dementia and stay connected to people living with it. It is likely to touch someone in your circle of family, friends and others who matter to you and whom you matter to. Everyone will benefit by taking a positive approach.” 

Dementia is one of the greatest fears of people today. This documentary aims to shift that narrative of fear and hopelessness to one of hope and action. There are things we can do as individuals to reduce our risk of developing dementia. There are ways to connect meaningfully with our loved ones, even if they no longer recognize us. We can live a high quality of life after diagnosis. Keys Bags Names Words shows intimate profiles of people living with dementia and their care partners. You’ll meet doctors discussing what you can do in your life to support brain health and prevent cognitive decline. And you’ll meet musicians and artists, scientists and policy experts from around the world engaged in a bold approach to tackle a leading global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century, dementia and brain health. 

This film is not a lament to loss, but an inspiring celebration of the human spirit. 

Film director Cynthia Stone explained, “There is a great deal of fear around this disease that deals with our brain, our essential identity. What people don’t realize is that there is a lot we can do to connect meaningfully with our loved ones who have dementia. There are approaches to live well after diagnosis and to prevent the disease.” 

Asen added, “The dementia journey can be difficult, fascinating, heartbreaking, joyful and inspiring; it calls us to transform ourselves as individuals and community. Start that transformation with this film.”