The Young and the Restless is proving once again why it's the nation's number one soap opera with the recent storyline in which Abbott family matriarch, Dina Mergeron (Marla Adams), was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
The tearjerker story was the brainchild of the soap's new executive producer and head writer, Mal Young, whose mother battled the disease that affects more than five million people in the United States. Y&R chose to partner with the Alzheimer's Association to bring the story to life and to create a PSA that airs after the Friday, December 8, episode. The "CBS Cares" PSA features Daytime Emmy winner Peter Bergman, who plays Dina's son, Jack Abbott, encouraging viewers to visit the Alzheimer's Association website to learn how to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of the disease and to find more information on caregiving and support.
"The Young and the Restless has a long and proud tradition of addressing real-life issues that our audience connects with in their daily lives. Alzheimer's is a disease that affects so many of our viewers," says Young in an official statement. "It's our intention not only to entertain and educate, but to provide support to our viewers by telling stories featuring characters they have grown to love and trust."
Adds Beth Kallmyer, vice president of care and support for the Alzheimer's Association: "We are grateful to The Young and the Restless for shining a light on Alzheimer's and its impact on people in the U.S. living with the disease and their families. We hope that, through this storyline, viewers will learn more about the disease and its warning signs. No family should face Alzheimer's alone, and we encourage all those impacted by the disease to reach out to the Alzheimer's Association for guidance, support and resources."
The Alzheimer's Association has provided guidance in telling this story since it began earlier this year and will continue to partner with Y&R as it sensitively depicts the progression of Dina's disease. Viewers can expect to see how Alzheimer's affects both the patient and her family, who serve as caregivers.
What do you think about Y&R telling an Alzheimer's story? What do you think about the way they're portraying Dina's battle with the disease? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.