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photo More Than Skin Deep
Self-Esteem, Aging, and Hairdressing
By David Gaynes

Set against the backdrop of a nursing home beauty shop, this video documentary examines issues of self-esteem and aging. Through the stories and insights of six nursing home residents, it takes an evocative look at the connections between living well, aging with dignity, and looking good.

Award-winning filmmaker David Gaynes was inspired to make this film after a summer as a transport volunteer at the Jewish Home for the Elderly, in Fairfield, Connecticut. "I particularly enjoyed taking residents to and from the beauty shop," he recalls. "The change in self-esteem from the time I would drop a person off to the time I would pick the same person up was unmistakable. For many of the residents it was the highlight of their day."

Life in a nursing home can be lonely and disorienting. The beauty shop and its rituals offer an example of the ways a good long-term care facility can help residents stay connected to their past lives, to their self-identity, and to each other.

25 minutes
© 2001
Purchase $149 DVD
Order No. QA-363
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-928-2

"Communicates a powerful message about how truly simple pleasures can easily improve the daily severity of nursing home life. Recommended for all libraries supporting professional or academic programs or schools in gerontology, nursing, social work, psychology, sociology, medicine, and allied health fields." Educational Media Reviews

Awards & Conference Screenings
Best Documentary, US Super8/Digital Video Festival
Silver Award, Mature Media Awards
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education

Related Films
The Personals: This Academy-Award winning video follows a drama group for senior citizens, as they create and perform a play about looking for dates through the personal ads.

As Time Goes By: It is a misconception that our needs for intimacy fade as we age. The seniors profiled in this documentary openly share their experiences with love, romance and growing older.

Tonight's the Night: Three senior couples describe the evolution of their sexual relationships, while experts stress the importance of more accepting social attitudes about sexuality and aging.

Growing Up and Growing Old: Who will care for the estimated 14 million people who will soon need long-term care? How will we pay for it? Meet several caregivers who are struggling daily with the problems of caring for elderly parents or clients.

I'm Pretty Old: An engaging look at several elderly men and woman as they adapt to the realities of living in a nursing home.

Not My Home: A compelling look at life inside a nursing home, as residents, families, and staff discuss both the problems and the rewards they experience.

Gay and Gray in New York City: This engaging video features interviews with several "gay and gray" men and women, as well as profiling two organizations which work to provide services and support to elders in the gay community.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website