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photo Growing Up and Growing Old
Caring for
Our Parents

By Jessica Martin
Oregon Public Broadcasting

In twenty years, an estimated fourteen million people will need long-term care: twice as many as today. There is already a shortage of nurses and other caregivers in the United States. Who will care for us in the future, and how will we pay for it?

In this provocative video we meet some of the families and other caregivers who are struggling daily with the problems of caring for aging parents: Kathy gave up her job to take care of her mother, who has dementia, at home. The family's choice has severely restricted their activities; Kathy's husband says it has "put our lives on hold." Lela, a Certified Nurses Aide in rural eastern Oregon, takes her skills and friendship from house to house in an effort to help her clients continue living on their own. The closeness and mutual support of a small community are a great help, but at the same time her patients suffer from a lack of local medical services, and the high price of medicines.

Carmenita sought out her estranged mother and cared for her at home, even though her mother, who now has Alzheimer's, no longer recognizes her. Seiza is caring for her father, who has vascular dementia, as well as two children and a husband — she is in some ways a typical example of the "sandwich generation" squeeze. Despite an innovative multi-family home situation, they still feel a desperate need for respite services.

56 minutes
© 2001
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-365
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-976-2

Reviews
"An important wake-up call concerning the serious challenges we will be facing during the coming years in the area of geriatric healthcare. Highly recommended." Video Librarian

Awards & Conference Screenings
Chris Award, Columbus International Film Festival
Emmy Nomination in Public Service

Related Films
The Way Home: This moving documentary introduces a variety of elders who are trying to find the best possible living situation for themselves or for their loved ones during their "golden years."

Sage: Celebrates the wisdom, experience, and creativity of our society's elders through portraits of a diverse group of active, engaged seniors pursuing their lifetime interests, and some new ones as well. Among those profiled is TV chef Julia Child.

Aging in America: This riveting documentary introduces us to aging athletes, activists, wranglers and strippers, and to inmates growing old in our nation's prisons. A compassionate, often surprising glimpse into the real lives of those who are reaching their "golden" years in the first part of the twenty-first century.

Gray Days: The U.S. has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of elderly men and women in state and federal prisons. This troubling documentary introduces us to two elderly prison inmates, inviting discussion of the universal issues raised by this situation.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: In what was supposed to be their "golden years," four million grandparents across the country are raising their children's children. This video tells some of their stories.

More than a Failing Heart: Family members describe examples of the best of end-of-life care, and of the worst, and reveal how competent and compassionate physicians and nurses can change the end-of-life experience.


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