The strain of caring for his mother shows in the face of Kurt Weitz. He's alone, with no family available to help him provide the constant supervision she requires. Elizabeth, 88, suffers from a variety of illnesses, including Alzheimer's. Her dementia drains Kurt of all his energy. Even ordinary housework seems overwhelming.
However, like all of the heroes in the Caregivers series, Kurt carries on. Just before Kurt's father died, he left his son simple instructions: "Take care of mum." For eight years, Kurt has been doing his best to respect his father's whishes--but as Elizabeth only gets worse, he clearly needs some relief.
Produced with the help of individual caregivers and community agencies, this is a "how-to" series with soul. Shot over the course of a year, these five episodes immerse you in the joys and sorrows of providing care. The caregivers featured in the series are honest and open about their feelings--and their eloquent insights offer an assessment of our health-care system's strengths and weaknesses.
Elizabeth cared for Kurt most of his life, and this son's love for his mother is obvious. Yet when Elizabeth dies, he admits to a strong sense of freedom. Kurt's mixed feelings are in fact common to everyone who faces the emotional challenges of caregiving. As he says, "I hate to say it, but the relief off my shoulders is just tremendous."
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Caregivers - Episode Three: Kurt and Elizabeth, Dan Curtis, provided by the National Film Board of Canada