Download Caregiven
3 min read

Its Not a Burden - A Documentary for People Who Love People

Featured Image

"The Humor and Heartache of Raising Elderly Parents."   If you are reading this blog I can assume that you are somewhat interested in caregivers, the act of caregiving etc, so I think it is ok that I say this. PLEASE WATCH THIS. We are not alone.  Not in the least.

Michelle Boyaner is an Emmy-nominated Filmmaker who leads a talented team that has access to several families in their day to day lives of caregiving adventures. There is a type of gallows humor that aging brings.  I got a crash course in this humor when taking care of for my ailing and aging family.  My dad was particularly good at shocking me ever-so-kinda-inappropriately.

This documentary is about us, love and relationships.  Honestly, it's just about how we take care of one another when we love so much that we don't know what else to do, but to step up, help, struggle, learn and do it all over the next day.  It's not like being a parent with babies in reverse, even though there are some similarities with the diapers and food issues in my experience.

We are not born with operating instructions nor do we age in a way that we have culturally been scripted to imagine.  We need help along the way.  This movie is about the real stuff of our lives that we don't always share with other people, our employers or even some of our closest friends.  So the fact that so many families were willing to be part of this effort 100%, even with their uncomfortable truths, is incredible to me.

"It was such an honor to gather these stories and talk to these families” over six years says Michelle.  Breathe that in.... SIX YEARS.

"The same questions, fears, and needs coming up again and again, regardless of race, gender, financial circumstance or geographical location. We witness the desire for connection, comradery, and information, as well as emotional, physical, and spiritual support while in the thick of this difficult phase of life."

I like numbers, they make me feel comfortable so some of the stats in this documentary got my attention and  then humanized them.  Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care.  So 6 years... 52 weeks per year... 24.4 hours per week - MATH!

This is what 42 Million + people are going thru each and every day according to AARPs report.  IT’S NOT A BURDEN gives voice to the one third of all Americans caring for our elders as well as for those of us who have cared for an ailing friend or family member.

I am including the Synopsis below, BUT I sincerely hope you rent or buy this and it encourages good conversations with your friends and family.  Story telling is clearly Michelle's (@michelleboyaner) passionate gift.  Caregiven is designed with a similar mission - connection, camradery, information and support.  We understand the universal issues involved with aging and we want to help.   

We are not alone.  Humor, tho not always appropriate, certainly helps cut the tension and can bring us closer in the journey together.  Thanks Michelle and the team at "It's Not A Burden".

SYNOPSIS
Leading with humor and heart, IT’S NOT A BURDEN: THE HUMOR AND HEARTACHE OF RAISING ELDERLY PARENTS, currently in post-production, provides an intimate look at the multi-layered and endlessly-complex relationships between aging parents and the adult children who care for them. The Director shares her very personal journey caring for her long-divorced aging parents (her larger-than-life Mother battling dementia, her Father, a hoarder) while weaving in supporting stories from 20+ other families, showing the universal issues we face around the topic of caring for our aging parents and reminding us we’re not alone.

Packed with verité footage, dozens of intimate family discussions and unique interviews, the mission of IT’S NOT A BURDEN is to give voice to the one third of all Americans unexpectedly caring for our elders. While in production on this documentary we recognized the same questions, fears, and needs coming up again and again, regardless of race, gender, financial circumstance or geographical location. We also witnessed the desperate desire for connection, comradery, and information, as well as emotional, physical, and spiritual support while in the thick of this difficult phase of life.

Our goal is to shine a light on the ways in which families are navigating this journey, mixing laughter along with the challenges, struggles and solutions and show that we are not alone in this very universal experience of helping our parents as they grow older.