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CAMERON SENIOR CENTER: Movie Series and Discussion Group Explores Role of Caregiver through Cinematic Art

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CAREGIVER MOVIE SERIES AT CAMERON-Join Annette Cerullo and Alison Christopher at the Cameron Senior Center the last Wednesday of the month from 1-4 p.m. to watch a movie about the caregiver role in various circumstances and health conditions. After the movie, they will host a brief discussion of the movie’s themes, participant impressions and experiences. They plan to host this series for six months and they will try to choose a variety of situations to explore through cinematic art. Here are the first four movies in the series:

  • May 26-Still Alice (2014)

Caring for a spouse/parent with early-onset Alzheimer’s

When renowned linguistics professor Alice Howland starts to forget her beloved words, her world quickly spins with the harsh reality: early-onset Alzheimer’s. An adaptation of Lisa Genova’s acclaimed 2007 novel, the movie transparently chronicles Alice’s battle to hide her neurological disease and find coping strategies. Julianne Moore’s award-winning performance in the movie demonstrates the cognitive decline Alzheimer’s patients experience and the challenges family caregivers must tackle daily.

  • June 30th-The Theory of Everything (2014)

Caring for an adult with a physical disability

After Cambridge University astrophysics student Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, he turns reclusive. But literature student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) falls in love with him and decides to marry him when she finds out Stephen only has two years to live. Jane eventually delays her own goals to become a full-time caregiver for Stephen. Felicity Jones’ role shows the emotional side of caregiving. Managing caregiver guilt, stress and exhaustion can be difficult, but it’s important for caregivers to replenish before taking care of others.

July 28th-The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

  • Caring for a patient who has had a stroke

The film drama is a real-life account of Jean-Dominique Bauby and his indomitable spirit after a massive stroke left him paralyzed with locked-in syndrome. Unable to speak, the former French “Elle” magazine editor-in-chief composes his “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” book with the painstaking aid of his speech and language therapist reading a list of letters and Bauby blinking his left eyelid to spell out words. The biographical movie illustrates how Bauby’s children, his girlfriend/mother of his children and his former wife all come together to undergird him through his unthinkable hardship. It shows that caregiving does take a village.

August 25th-Life Itself (2014)

  • Caring for a person with cancer

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert is one of history’s most commendable social commentators and an inspiring model of a life well-lived. Although his head and neck malignancy robbed Ebert of his commanding speech, the famed historian and author never lost his voice in influencing his diverse audience. Based on Ebert’s bestselling memoir “Life Itself,” the documentary portrays how to combat cancer with help from a network of family and friends.