"Caring for Mom and Dad" Documentary: What Did You Think?

Denise

"Caring for Mom and Dad" Documentary: What Did You Think?

Denise
family-515530_640I just watched "Caring for Mom and Dad," the PBS documentary. The film aired last Thursday in Chicago at 10 p.m.--too late for me so I recorded it for another day (which turned out to be today). I wonder, too, what that says when a film about an issue that impacts so many gets a non-prime-time air time.

I loved the stories of the family caregivers profiled during the film. I loved the diversity in gender, ethnicity and age. I loved the honesty expressed by the family caregivers, who really opened up about their challenges and their heartbreak. Anthony, in particular, provided a truthful reflection about what he did wrong and what he needed to do to right the situation. I also loved the focus on the struggle we have to keep our jobs when we add a second full-time job called caregiving. (I also would love a documentary that focused on other caregiving relationships--like caring for spouses, caring for children, caring for grandparents, caring for siblings, you get the idea.)

I found it interesting that another professional used the "we'll do the hard work, relieve you of responsibility so you can go back to being a adult child" sales pitch. The family caregiver who hired the professional--a geriatric care manager--spoke about her guilt which overwhelms her. I'm frustrated when the impact of caregiving--regardless of how much help we have--is minimized. Having help helps and is a must but the weight of the responsibility and worry always remains.

The documentary presented the problems but also shared solutions that can help. I thought it was great that the film focused on the difference these solutions, which require minimal funding, can make on the entire family unit.

I also thought that Meryl Streep was the perfect narrator; she wove stories, stats and sadness without being overly dramatic.

What did you think? To which stories did you relate? What didn't ring true for you?

Tell us in the comments section, below.