Documentary Examines Caregiving

NASW has partnered with WGBH Boston to present a national outreach campaign for the documentary Caring for Your Parents. The 90-minute documentary explores the realities of caring for elderly parents.

The documentary will air on PBS on April 2 at 9 p.m. Eastern. A number of NASW chapters, including the Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana and Nevada chapters, are hosting special premiere events for the film.

Following the broadcast of the film, a 30-minute "Conversation About Caring" will air. The panel discussion will offer advice and guidance about how to start conversations about care with aging parents.

"This is clearly a subject that many social workers are deeply involved in," said NASW Chief Communications Officer Gail Woods Waller. "NASW has worked to provide resources and educate people about the important role social workers play in caregiving decision making. We are very glad to be working with WGBH to promote this documentary."

In addition to the chapters hosting premiere events, the New York State and Iowa chapters will be assisting PBS in offering local resource fairs. WGBH representatives will also be working with the Massachusetts Chapter on its annual conference.

NASW is one of four national outreach partners for the film. The other partners are AARP, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

In addition to the film, WGBH has produced online resources, including a caregiver handbook and handouts and will make the film available for viewing online after the April 2 premiere. WGBH also has a limited number of free outreach toolkits, which include posters and a DVD excerpt from the film and the panel discussion.

The documentary features the stories of five families, who are followed over several months as they make decisions about care for their elderly relatives and parents. The stories are interwoven with historical, demographic, cultural, sociological and economic information that will place the families' experiences in context. Issues addressed will include interacting with medical systems, home care and nursing home care, financial decisions and end-of-life decisions.