WASHINGTON, DC—AARP is announcing the winners of a unique contest that encourages filmmakers to tell the story of family caregiving through short films. The competition was launched as part of Ad Council and AARP’s National Caregiver Awareness Campaign to help reveal the hard work and dedication of the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. These stories focus on three family caregiving themes: The Changing Face of Caregiving, Roles Change, and Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers. The winners share a $25,000 prize and the opportunity for their work to be featured on AARP and Ad Council web and social platforms.
“These three minute or shorter films really open up the world of family caregiving helping people to better understand the intense challenges as well as the deep personal rewards of caring for a loved one,” said Amy Goyer, AARP family and caregiving expert and author of the new award-winning book Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving. “But more importantly, the stories show how much love is present in family caregiving, whether it comes from a family member, friend or even a stranger.”
Overall Winner Shows How Friends Become Caregivers
Figaro - Donna, Nicki & Bill, which shows friends taking on the role of “family” caregivers, earned AARP’s top prize. Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is home to this loving caregiving story for 81 year-old Bill. The opera buff and stroke victim has no family, but he does have two extraordinary friends that look after him. Filmmaker TW Miller captures the compassion and companionship that 40-year friend Donna and 17-year neighbor Nicki share to help Bill maintain his quality of life. This piece was so compelling it also won the Changing Face of Caregiving award.
In the Moment is AARP’s second place winner. USC film school graduate Rachel Fleischer introduces us to Santa Monica’s Lulu Lancaster and her adult children Jeff and Patti. Vintage family home movie clips show viewers the life Lulu remembers, even as Jeff and Lulu explain it’s their mom’s short term memory that their caregiving supports. The brother and sister team work together to help their 92 year-old mom live in the moment even as she struggles to remember the simple things she experiences every day.
The Baton claimed AARP’s third place prize. The film is a self-refection told by filmmaker and caregiving daughter Kaypri Marcus. The Howard University graduate shares her own story of how a product of the “hip hop” generation became the caregiver for her mom Dorothy. Kaypri not only cares for her mom in Los Angeles, but when Alzheimer’s began taking a toll, Kaypri finished her mother’s autobiography about being a southern white woman involved in the civil rights movement.
Abdulah and Sehaveta took AARP’s fourth place award and proves that even a world away a caregiver’s love can conquer all. When the war in Yugoslavia broke out, Abdulah Kadenic and his wife Sehaveta had to leave their home in Bosnia. They ended up in Norway and lived there for 12 years. In 2007, Sehaveta had a series of strokes and lost the ability to speak, so they decided to move back to Bosnia—the place where they still felt most at home. Abdulah now lives alone in Sarajevo while Sehaveta stays at a nursing home in Travnik. For the first time in over 50 years they are apart, but every week Abdulah travels 2 hours by bus to visit her and keep her company throughout the day.
It Takes a Family shows what can happen when a wife becomes a caregiver. When Marilyn's husband became terminally ill, there was no doubt in her mind that she would care for him. As she helped him through the last years of his life, she faced many challenges throughout her new journey. When things seemed to be too difficult to handle on her own, her children and their spouses came to her aid.
Roles Change Winner
Roberta’s Home takes place in Ashland, Oregon and is produced by the husband and wife team of Ross Williams and Kristan Kelly Williams. The film takes us into 92 year-old Roberta’s home where she is cared for by her daughter Barbara and her grandson Blake. They moved in to help Roberta remain in the home she designed and built. Barbara’s role expanded from daughter to caregiver and Blake formed a much deeper relationship with his grandmother, who he only used to see occasionally.
Random Acts of Kindness Winner
The Van features two Oregon families – one living in Medford, Oregon whose selfless gift helped the Ulloms family 45 minutes away in Butte Falls. Filmmaker David Kirk West didn’t have to travel far to find this story; his mom, Janet, gave her minivan to the Ulloms. The family patriarch provides 24 hour care for his wife with Parkinson’s disease. The Ulloms’ own minivan often needed repair and was on its last leg with more than 270,000 miles. The gift of a van was an unexpected blessing for this family who had spent years doing missionary work in Ecuador.
Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers Contest
The Van captures the spirit of AARP’s Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers contest which continues through March. It urges people to share a simple act of kindness with a caregiver and then submit their story and a photo to the contest website found at www.aarp.org/caregiverkindness. AARP will select 12 winners who have made a meaningful difference in the lives of family caregivers. The winners will share a $10,000 prize.
To learn more about caregiving resources, visit the AARP Caregiving Resource Center at http://www.aarp.org/caregiving.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
Monique O'Grady, 202-434-2560, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AARPMedia