At The Breaking Point: Family Caregiving and Dementia
by Terra Nova Films
In this video you’ll experience the most heartbreaking and joyful moments in the lives of several families caring for a loved one with dementia. Watch to see how families struggle, compromise, and learn to connect through this difficult life transition.
Watching a spouse or parent whose strength and vigor you’ve always relied on dwindle as they slowly succumb to dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease is incredibly difficult. Some families approach a loved one’s dementia with a sense of humor and a renewed determination to make each day meaningful, while others are steeped in denial that stops them from obtaining needed and timely help.

In this video you’ll first meet a couple, Betty & Everett, and you’ll see the harrowing manner that Everett discovers his breaking point in his attempts to care for Betty at home. You’ll also see several families struggle with the slow loss of independence for their loved one, with special attention given to the difficult decision of stopping a person with dementia from driving. Two daughters have different ways of preventing their parent from being on the road and hurting themselves or someone else--but at the expense of their parent’s pride. You can observe for yourself how they make this decision.

Debbie is a “dutiful daughter” who learns to have fun with her mother once she is able to stop challenging the memory loss and allows her mother to think of Debbie as a long lost sorority sister. Ethics around how much truth needs to be disclosed are discussed, as well as when it’s time to place a loved one in a nursing facility. This decision can be even more difficult when family members disagree, as Edith’s two daughters do.

The video does not shy away from the inevitability of death and how this may mean keeping to a loved one’s wishes when they are not able to remember those wishes themselves. The anguish and the surprising connectedness are both present within these families, often simultaneously. This video is a must watch for anyone who is looking to work in the expanding field of geriatrics.