I tend not to think too much about the future as an elderly caregiver to Sophie. I tend to push away the thought that she'll be home full-time when school is finished in two years. You could say that I'm optimistic that everything will work out, or you could say that I've achieved some sort of buddha-like satori where I literally live in the present. Or you could say that it's so freaking scary. Or you could say that I'm f^*ked.
An old college friend of mine, Sophie Sartain, has made a beautiful documentary called Mimi and Dona. Sophie said this: MIMI AND DONA is a personal documentary about my aunt and grandmother. It is also a love story. I set out to make it in 2009, taking an HDV camera from Los Angeles to Dallas to capture the quirky and insular world of Mimi and Dona. Time was scarce. Mimi had finally admitted that she could no longer care for her daughter Dona, and my mother (Dona's sister) had submitted an application to move Dona to a state-run institution in Denton. After 64 years, Mimi would have an empty nest, and Dona would suddenly be on her own.
You can read more about it on her website, and hopefully you'll see it at screenings in Texas and New York.
An estimated 4.6 million people in America have an intellectual or developmental disability.
75% of these individuals, our fellow citizens, live at home.
This is what I posted on Facebook:
THIS is the reality of what long-term care-giving is like in these United States. As we argue and dither over everything from vaccinations and women's reproductive freedom and the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are being cared for by their aged parents with little to no help and only dismal alternatives. THIS will be the fate of my family, too, unless we wake up and extend some compassion and sensible supports to families. Thank you, my old college friend, Sophie Sartain, for making this incredible documentary that will, I hope make a big splash. Watch the trailer.
Mimi and Dona - Teaser Trailer from Katahdin Productions on Vimeo.