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Documentary Reveals Failures of Home Care System Through Worker and Consumer Stories

April 16, 2015

Plans are underway for the release of CARE, the first feature-length documentary to delve into the adequacy of the nation’s home care system in light of an aging population that overwhelmingly prefers to grow old in their own homes.

The film, scheduled to be released in the fall, follows three home care aides and their clients over two years. It reveals the intimacy, isolation, and physical and emotional toll of the job as well as how these dedicated, low-wage workers struggle to make ends meet for their own families.

The film also exposes how difficult it is for families to secure and pay for home care. One thread follows a couple that faces financial ruin after paying privately for home care for the husband, a network television executive who has Parkinson’s disease.

Help Support CARE

Help the CARE filmmakers finish their movie by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign.

CARE will sound an alarm about how our current, cobbled-together approach to long-term elder care is broken—working neither for the elderly, their families, nor the workers who provide care,” the documentary’s website says. “The complexity of the issues (along with an aversion to the realities of aging) makes it easier to look away than face the impending crisis.”

Filmmaker Deirdre Fishel and Producer Tony Heriza expect that the compelling personal stories of the workers who provide care and the people who rely on it will resonate with audiences everywhere.

The documentary team intends CARE to “encourage people across race, class, or party affiliation to join in imagining alternatives and working for community, state, and national changes.” The filmmakers are planning a two-year public awareness campaign on home care issues to help spur action.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation have provided generous support for the production of CARE, which is almost finished.

To raise additional funding to complete and release the film, a one-month Kickstarter campaign will be launched on April 16. Individuals are encouraged to contribute; donations are tax deductible.

To learn more about the film, visit the CARE website and follow the documentary’s progress on Facebook and Twitter.

PHI Policy Research Director Abby Marquand is a policy advisor to the documentary team; PHI is a “Key Partner” of CARE.

— by Deane Beebe

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