Segments in this Video

Coping With Memory Loss (05:31)


In New Jersey, a family copes with the deteriorating health of their parents, Mac and Bert. It is the responsibility of the children to care for their parents mentally, physically and emotionally.

Cerebral Hemorrhage Recovery (04:39)

A young woman in Rhode Island visits her mother Charlotte's nursing home daily to help with physical therapy. The hemorrhage devastated cognitive function and doctors believed she would die.

Private Retirement Home (04:47)

A wealthy family created a retirement home for their 91-year-old mother, Happy. The staff consists of seven aids who provide 24 hour care. Elderly people who have daughters are statistically less likely to spend time in nursing homes.

Family Led Home Healthcare (05:36)

A woman created a network of help to keep her 83-year-old mother Maria out of a nursing home. Nurses provided by the state and Maria's granddaughter look after her while her daughter works full-time.

Challenges of Caregiving (07:31)

The family of an elderly woman suffering from severe Alzheimer's was forced to put her into a nursing when she became a danger to herself. The father lives in a separate nursing home, due to their divorce, and suffers from terminal prostate cancer.

End of Life Planning (03:56)

Mac and Bert's daughters meet to talk about their parent's health issues. Dr. Michael Fine discusses the importance of having family conversations about illness and death scenarios.

Effects of Cerebral Hemorrhages (06:02)

Charlotte's children help her through physical therapy. Charlotte receives a neurological test to determine why she is having trouble walking and functioning as normal. The nursing staff and Charlotte's daughter argue about health care plans and goals.

Physical Deterioration (04:49)

Happy continues living at home with 24/7 care, but she has a wound which needs to be treated by a specialist. One of Happy’s daughters stays with her and provides the care she needs. Happy is becoming aware she is nearing the end of her life.

Early Stage Dementia (04:53)

Maria depends on the care of state-funded nurses and her granddaughter. As her dementia worsens, her daughter must find a way to provide 24/7 care. Dementia leads to mood swings that can turn violent along with rapid memory loss.

Mental Health Visits (04:48)

Charlotte's family brings her home for several hours to see her cat and be in her peaceful space. Her daughters worry about the state of Charlotte's mental health as they return her to the full-time healthcare facility.

Returning Prostate Cancer (04:52)

Ricardo and his father return to the hospital; the prostate cancer returned. Ricardo and the doctors are concerned the elderly man will pass away soon. Ricardo’s wife left him because she felt she was unreasonably expected to care for his mother with severe Alzheimer's.

Struggles of Full-Time Care Giving (02:42)

The burden of care for Mac and Bert fell to their daughter Joyce. Many times, the burden of caring for parents falls fully on one child. Joyce went to counseling to learn how to cope with the difficulties of being a full-time caregiver.

Similarities of Birth and Aging (02:37)

Happy spends more time in bed and Priscilla is concerned with her lack of physical activity. The family talks about the cycles of life. Happy's granddaughter brings her daughter for weekly visits.

Permanent Nursing Home Care (04:40)

Charlotte's daughter Lorainne hopes to take her mother out of the nursing home; Charlotte is being fitted for dentures. Lorraine talks about how well she now understands her mother's nonverbal communication.

Planning for Health Emergencies (02:29)

Mac and Bert’s daughter are beginning to worry about their mother's deteriorating health as their father slowly loses cognitive abilities. They fear their parents are spending their last Christmas in their own home. Mac is no longer able to drive or take care of Bert.

Expense of Home Healthcare (05:12)

Maria’s daughter Thelma struggles to provide the 24-hour care her mother needs as her dementia enters the late stages. Home healthcare nurses are often unreliable. When a person tries to care for a relative independently, they will often develop a severe health condition.

Advanced Alzheimer's and Cancer (04:04)

Ricardo's Christmas is sad due to his wife's absence and the deteriorating health of his parents. His father's prostate cancer advanced beyond treatment and his mother's gallbladder is failing in addition to her advancing Alzheimer's.

Transformative Moments (03:53)

The family keeps Charlotte overnight for the Christmas holiday. All of the caregivers experienced positive transformation throughout the process of caring for their aging family members. Providing full-time care for one’s parents can be rewarding relationally and emotionally.

"A Conversation About Caring" (15:25)

A panel of specialists discusses how to prepare for and cope with making end of life decisions for aging parents. They stress the importance of having conversations about end of life scenarios, including financial stability.

Creating a Living Will (13:17)

The panel discusses the necessity of attaining a living will, power of attorney, and becoming a healthcare proxy for one’s parents as they near the end of life. Caregivers should have more adequate training. Parents become extremely vulnerable at their end of life which leads to a transformation in their relationships with their children.

Credits: Caring for Your Parents (00:46)

Credits: Caring for Your Parents

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Caring for Your Parents

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



As the population ages, many adult children are grappling with an unprecedented social, cultural, economic and personal revolution as they become the primary caregivers for their aging parents. This documentary draws much-needed attention to this widespread reality. Through an intimate look at five American families, the first 90 minutes of the special underscore today's struggle to keep parents at home, the tensions between siblings and the complexity of shifting caregiver roles. In the end, successful caregiving requires one primary ingredient - love. Immediately after the 90-minute broadcast, former NBC medical correspondent Dr. Art Ulene leads "A Conversation About Caring," a half-hour panel discussion that offers concrete advice and guidance on how to start the conversation—often the most difficult step in caregiving.

Length: 114 minutes

Item#: BVL151070

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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