In “It’s Not a Burden: The Humor and Heartache of Raising Elderly” Emmy-nominated filmmaker Michelle Boyaner (HBO’s “Packed in a Trunk”) shares her complex and devastatingly tender journey caring for her long-divorced aging parents.
“I was hanging out with friends one evening, and instead of chatting about shows we were binge watching, or dishing about who was dating who, we found ourselves comparing notes on adult diapers and dementia medications,” stated the filmmaker. “We realized we’d crossed over into a strange new world we weren’t quite prepared for: we were all caring for our aging parents. They’d raised and loved us when we were most vulnerable, and now, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine – they were living a hell of a lot longer than previous generations, outlasting their bodies and retirement funds, and it was up to us, unwittingly… and in some cases unendingly – to return the favor.”
The feature-length documentary that provides an intimate look, presented with humor and heart, at the relationships between aging parents and the adult children who care for them, examining the challenges they face and the solutions they discover along the way.
Included in the list of characters is her mother Elaine, who abandoned the family and left then 19-year-old Michelle to help raise her five younger siblings and is now faced with dementia, as well as her father Morris, once a brilliant Aerospace Engineer and now a hoarder unable to navigate his own world.
With humor and heart, the film explores not only the frustrations and fears, but also the transformative bonds that happen when familial roles are reversed.
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