These days when we think about movies we probably picture superhero movies or other action-packed adventures with attractive actors that look impressive on the big screen. But movies can also give us insight into areas of our lives we don’t know much about. This is especially true when it comes to movies about caregiving.
Being a caregiver is a huge challenge, and it can be a very lonely one as well. Caregiver movies - even when fictionalized - can give us some insight into how others deal with the same struggles we face.
Here are six caregiver movies we recommend:
Still Alice (2014) - Based on Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel of the same name, Still, Alice follows the story of Alice Howland, a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Julianne Moore portrays Alice, who desperately tries to hide her symptoms and find coping mechanisms. The movie also does a great job portraying the caregivers' struggles to help Alice cope with her cognitive decline.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) - This movie portrays a real-life account of Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed with locked-in syndrome, in which a person’s brain remains normal but their body is completely paralyzed except for the eyes. Though the movie is mainly presented from Bauby’s perspective, it does provide insight into how the wife, children and other family members of a stroke victim cope and assist him with his new and exceptionally challenging life. The movie is based on Bauby’s autobiography which he wrote with the help of his speech and language therapist.
Nothing in Common (1986) - While not as recent as the other movies about caregiving on the list, this film starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason is just as important. Hanks plays a wealthy ad executive who must take over care of his aging diabetic father when his parent's divorce.
Amour (2012) comes up on all the caregiver movie lists. In it, a retired husband and wife face a major life change when the wife has a stroke that paralyzes her right side. After she suffers from a second stroke robbing her of the power of speech, the husband becomes her caregiver, determined to keep his promise to not move her into nursing care. With a tragic ending, the movie delivers a raw and emotional look at the toll caregiving can take on loved ones.Away from Her (2006)
- Away From Her is another relatively small film like Amour that offers a real and at times upsetting look at aging and caregiving. In the movie, the wife of an aging couple moves into a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. Eventually, she forgets her doting husband and falls in love with another man in the nursing home.I Care a Lot (2020)
is not your typical caregiver movie. The protagonist of the movie, Marla Grayson, makes a living convincing the courts to give her guardianship over elderly citizens. She then drains their savings and takes everything they have before moving on to the next victim. The movie is a cautionary tale and can help you spot the signs of financial elder abuse. You can read an excellent article on CNBC
with more information.
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