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Aging and the Elderly

Big Mama

Depicts Viola Dees, a devoted, 89-year old grandmother, in her struggle to raise her orphaned 9-year old grandson in South Central Los Angeles. She must contend with her own declining health and a bureaucratic and legal system that continually threatens to force them apart. Produced and directed by Tracy Seretean. 2000. 40 min.

Academy Award - Best Documentary, Short Subjects
San Francisco International Film Festival - Golden Gate Award


Bodysong tells the story of human life from birth to death, through the use of various moving images from across the world and spanning 100 years of cinema. The tale is set to an ambitious score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood. Directed by Simon Pummell. 2005. 78 min.

Brother's Keeper

Tells the story of the "Ward Boys," four eccentric brothers who shared the same dilapidated two-room shack for over 60 years in Munnsville, N.Y. Living in isolation, without heat or running water, these elderly bachelors had virtually no contact with the outside world--until one was found dead in the bed he shared with his brother. By day's end, Delbert Ward "confessed" to suffocating his ailing brother as an act of mercy, but others in Munnsville believed Delbert had been framed. Was Delbert, an uneducated hermit with a low IQ, an innocent victim of police abuse?

Can't Afford To Grow Old

Describes the problems faced by the elderly in obtaining and paying for nursing and health care. Explores who will pay for their care and questions whether as individuals or society we can afford to grow old. Producer/director/writer, Roger Weisberg. c1989. 59 min.

Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter

Chronicles the various stages of a mother's Alzheimer's disease and the evolution of a daughter's response to the illness. The desire to cure the incurable--to set right her mother's confusion and forgetfulness, to temper her mother's obsessiveness--gives way to an acceptance which is finally liberating for both daughter and mother. Directed by Deborah Hoffmann. c1994. 45 min.

Peabody Award San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival - Best Documentary

Crying for Happiness

Treatment of depression in the elderly is explored from the first-hand perspective of patients and staff at a geriatric day hospital. Focuses on a group of older women who are being treated in a cognitive therapy program that combines pharmacological treatment with group and individual therapy. Filmed at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto, Ont. 1990. 90 min.

Detecting Dementia: Cognitive Assessment for the Home Healthcare Professional.

Conceived and written in collaboration with Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Washington University and Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri. Film discusses techniques used to diagnose Dementia, a disease common among the elderly characterized by progressive deterioration of memory, thinking and day to day functioning. 1990. 20 min.

Families in the 90's. Our Parents, Ourselves

A relevant examination of the complex relationships between adult children and their parents. Illustrates the experiences of caregivers, as well as showcasing practical ways to deal with stressful emotional issues, and what the public and private sectors are doing to help. 1998. 54 min.

Family Support Groups: Help for the Families of Alzheimer's Disease Patients.

Videotaped family support group gives a better understanding of how people can help each other during these sessions. Shows some of the functions of the group support leader or facilitator. The viewer will also find that even though each member brings his own strengths and experiences, there are common themes and topics which all caregivers will experience. c1990. 20 min.