Growing up, Scott Eastwood watched his mom care for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease. She was right on the cusp of an early onset diagnosis—where you begin to lose your memory before the age of 65.
Eastwood was 10 years old when his grandmother passed away, but remembers watching his mom come home heartbroken and exhausted every day for seven years.
“It takes a toll on the whole family,” Eastwood, 32, tells PEOPLE. “I know how hard it was to see my mom in so much pain having her mother forget who she is. I can’t even imagine having to go through that and having my mother and my father not remember who I am or not remember that I called the day before.”
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Eastwood, who is currently in Bulgaria filming his upcoming movie The Outpost, teamed up with Allergen and LearnAboutAlz.com to raise awareness for the disease through social media and ad campaigns in celebration of World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21.
“We just want people to know they’re not alone,” he says. “It’s a day where people can remember their loved ones who passed away and give support to other caregivers.”
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“It’s not at the front of young people’s minds because they think ‘oh, it’s an old persons disease,’” he adds. “Well, the reality is, it’s an every person disease. We’re all going to get older, and dementia is a real problem. I think the more we can be ahead of it and understand it, the better we will all be.”
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