In this feature-length documentary, acclaimed filmmaker Dorothy Todd Hénaut chronicles a critical two-year period in the lives of her parents, Mildred and Bob Todd. The Todds, retired octogenarians, live a simple but full life by the river in rural Ontario until a sudden change in their health forces a change in their lives. Their old routine of tending the garden and visiting with friends is replaced by hospital stays and home care. And even though the couple’s tenderness and mutual care soften the reality of diminishing strength, Hénaut’s film reveals a gritty, sensitive look at the human aging process.
This award-winning documentary presents Mark Nowaczynski, a physician who photographs the lives of many of his elderly patients. "Who in the world would want to see a bunch of pictures of me? Junk," says Connie, 93. Yet "Dr. Mark" has been photographing her and other patients to raise awareness about the lack of home care in this growing segment of the population. His black-and-white pictures reflect faces that convey fragility and vulnerability but also quiet strength as these seniors struggle to live with dignity.
A 105-year-old Acadian agrees to be filmed one Sunday as she goes about her daily routine and ruminates on life. Filmed by her great-grandson, Aldéa Pellerin-Cormier comments wisely on politics, sex and religion. From getting ready in the morning to drinking her nightcap before bed, every moment is punctuated with a witticism or existential thought. Respectful of the old woman's privacy, Daniel Léger's first documentary looks at wisdom, serenity and enjoyment of life. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
In this feature film, 7 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie. Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
This short documentary features a group of seniors called the "U of Agers" who meet twice a week at the University of Alberta to do gymnastics. The U of Agers are just "ordinary" people trying to do "extraordinary" things and confirm that if they can do gymnastics, then others in Canada have the potential to excel at whatever inspires them.
The Priory is a public extended-care hospital in Victoria, British Columbia, for people suffering from chronic geriatric illnesses. Treatment is innovative. It is based on the theory that even the ordinary activities of a patient's life contain elements of therapy. The film shows us how patients are encouraged to do as much as they can for themselves despite their confinement to wheelchairs.
This short documentary tells the story of Jack Huggins, a 65-year-old man who was removed from his home and certified incompetent when he failed to comply with a Health Department order to clean up his living quarters. Jack felt that he was being treated "like Mr. Nobody. Just Mr. Nobody out on the street." Do mentally competent elders have the right to neglect themselves? Does the state have an obligation to intervene?
When she was a student nurse, Pat Tucker received training in bedside care. Today, she puts those skills to good use in caring for her mother. Molly, 95, is confined to her bed for most of the day and requires round-the-clock attention. Like all of the heroes in the Caregivers series, Pat offers loving and conscientious care. Despite her nursing experience, she nevertheless feels exhausted by the incredible demands of looking after Molly.
Pat acknowledges the support of her family--especially her husband; she knows that without their help, she would be hard-pressed to carry on. At Molly's 95th birthday party, we see just how important this charming "wee soul" is to all the people who love her. Even if she's too frail to blow out the candles, Molly is still the link that keeps this family together.
Produced with the help of individual caregivers and community agencies across Canada, 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.
When Molly eventually dies, Pat is devastated. But through her tears she is clear about one thing: she would do it all over again. "Memories," she says, "last longer than dreams."
Sometimes sad, sometimes witty, often bizarre, the prolific anecdotes of a retired cemetery superintendent provide insight into an intriguing, off-beat character. Here, as he wanders nostalgically through the cemetery grounds in Saint John, New Brunswick, his uninhibited thoughts touch upon everything from mourners to monuments.
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."
Meet Madeleine Fergus. Like all of the heroes in the Caregivers series, she is an ordinary person with extraordinary heart. For the last five years, Madeleine's life has been consumed by caring for her partially paralyzed mother, Rose. Madeleine took early retirement in order to care for Rose full-time. It's a job with long hours and little recognition. Yet despite the hardship and frustration, she finds caring for her mother naturally rewarding. When we first meet Rose in April, she is full of mischief. Although she is confined to a wheelchair, she likes to sing, go out, and get her hair done. By December, Rose is still able to help Madeleine decorate the Christmas tree. However, after battling a series of infections over the next six months, Rose deteriorates into total dependency. Madeleine, who makes do on two small pensions, must now seek more help from a system which can be difficult to access. 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. To Madeleine, Rose is not only her mother but her best friend. When Rose dies, Madeleine's heart is broken but her spirit isn't. She knows she has no choice but to go on. As she says, "You've got to float with the tide."