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Fading Away

Production year: 2015 | 45 | Genres: Reality
Aage Rasmussen and his wife Rita are facing the challenge of their life.
Origin country: Denmark
Production company: Dokumentarkompagniet ApS
Original title: Da Aage forsvandt
Original language: Danish
Formats: HD

Dementia has become a widespread disease. It is estimated that 46.8 million people worldwide are living with the deadly disease. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 74.7 million in 2030. In a new documentary TV 2 has followed Aage Rasmussen for five years - from the onset of the disease when he was 56 years old, we follow Aage slowly disappearing with the progression of the disease.

Just before their wedding, Aage is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – an incurable dementia disease that slowly eats the brain. We follow Rita through the struggle of loving a man, that slowly disappears and loses memory of her, and Aages fight against a disease that will only get worse. Rita and Aage has given TV 2 access to follow them closely through these difficult years, even though it means that Aage, at some point, will become so affected by dementia, that he will not be able to understand the means of being part of a television program. We will follow their struggle for five years. The struggle of holding on to their life together, fighting against the dementia – a prevalent disease, which is the fifth leading cause of death.

For better or worse

Aage and Rita meet each other late in life. They act like teenagers falling in love for the first time. As Aage realizes that he is about to lose the memories from his life, he is horrified - especially the memories with Rita and their great love. However the memories are disappearing and Aage has many difficulties handling his everyday life. Normal activities like eating dinner and taking his shoes on suddenly become difficult tasks, which takes a lot of effort. As Aage gets more and more sick, Rita has to make some difficult decisions on behave of Aage. She tries to keep Aage at home taking care of him in their home in Gammel Ry, but at some point she realizes that the task is too demanding for her. Aage does not realize that he is losing his ability to take care of himself. Rita often has to go searching for him, because he cannot find his way home. Slowly, he is losing sense of the world around him and finds it difficult to distinguish between right and wrong. Rita has to make a difficult decision: The time has come for Aage to move to a nursing home, where the personnel is educated to take care of him. Aage does not understand what is going on. When Rita visits him, he wants her to take him home. His love for Rita is still strong even though the disease affects him more and more. Rita is his lifeline and she is tormented by guilt. She is feeling so stressed about Aages situation that she gets sick herself, and suddenly she is even having a blackout. Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases have a significant influence on relatives. Studies show that relatives have a high risk of getting sick themselves.

A widespread deathly disease

Today it is estimated that there are more than 9.9 million new cases of dementia worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds. The proportion of new cases arising worldwide is increasing every year. It is estimated that 46.8 million people worldwide are living with the deadly disease in 2015. 35 millions of these suffer from Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease in the brain, which weakens the memory, the ability to think and to manage in the everyday life. Today it is not possible to cure people from Alzheimer’s, but only to medicate and thereby delay the progression of the disease. Today, we do not know anything about why the disease occurs or why a man like Aage, who has been physically active and has always challenged his brain working as a mathematics and physics teacher, suddenly is hit. We only know that more and more people are diagnosed with dementia and that the disease is among the most frequent causes of death in the western world.

Still images

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