Weatherford Democrat

April 12, 2014

Alzheimer’s group to screen ‘Angel’s Perch’ locally

Feature film tells story of family struggling with Alzheimer’s disease

Weatherford Democrat

— The Alzheimer’s Association–North Central Texas Chapter will screen “Angel’s Perch” this Wednesday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center in Weatherford.

“Angel’s Perch” is a new independent feature film that examines the delicate relationship between past and present, memory and loss as depicted by a family struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. The film screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion about the movie on  There is no charge to attend.

The inspiration for “Angel’s Perch,” which was produced in partnership with the West Virginia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, came from the writer’s own roots in West Virginia and his family’s experiences with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Everyone has an emotional home – the place that defines your happiest memories. For me, that place is a small town in the mountains of West Virginia,” said writer J.T. Arbogast. “In 2004, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and over the next few years I watched as she slowly lost her memories. It’s a story that is not dissimilar from the millions of people who have watched this disease slowly take away a loved one and felt powerless to stop it. We struggle to find an answer to the question, ‘What can I do?’  For us, the answer came in the form of making a film.”

“When someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, it can be really hard on the family,” said Theresa Hocker, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association–North Central Texas Chapter.  “At the Alzheimer’s Association, we are devoted to helping family caregivers through education programs, helpline and programs like REACH (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health.) ‘Angel’s Perch’ is one family’s story told in a beautiful, uplifting film. We watched the film as a staff when it came out in December and felt that it was important to share it with our community.”

The screening of “Angel’s Perch” at the Doss Center will be followed by a discussion moderated by Howard Gruetzner, M.Ed, LPC, a family care and education specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association and author of the widely read, “Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide and Sourcebook.”

Angel’s Perch is the story of Jack, a successful young architect living in Pittsburgh, who must make the trip to his tiny hometown of Cass, W. Va., to move his grandmother into an assisted-care facility after she is found wandering outside her home.

But what was intended to be a two-day, under-the-radar trip becomes more complicated when Jack is unable to move her into an assisted-living facility nearby. Torn between the career opportunity of a lifetime, caring for his last living relative and running from his own painful memories, Jack is forced to choose between standing still or facing the pain of his past, so that he can finally move forward in his life.

The film stars Joyce Van Patten (“The Danny Kaye Show,” “The Bad News Bears,” “The Good Guys,” Grown Ups), J.T. Arbogast (“30 Rock,” “When in Rome”), Ally Walker (“Sons of Anarchy,” “The Profiler,” “The Protector”), Ashley Jones (“True Blood,” ‘The Bold and the Beautiful”), Ellen Crawford (“ER,” “The Man from Earth”), and a supporting cast of talented local West Virginia actors.

The “Angel’s Perch” film screening and caregiver discussion is partially funded by the Billie Clark Fund for Rural Education Initiatives. The Alzheimer’s Association also receives funding for its programs from the Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas. 

The Doss Heritage and Culture Center is located at 1400 Texas Drive. There is no charge to attend the screening but reservations are appreciated. For more information or to reserve a seat, call Shelly Young at 817-336-4949 or 800-272-3900.