November 14, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aging brings uncertainties, but also new freedom, documentary asserts
HARRISONBURG, VA. (Mennonite Media) “I would like to be able to embrace my later years but I’m still scared because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” says Randi Gedaliah of New York City in a new documentary Embracing Aging: Families Facing Change produced by Mennonite Media. Gedaliah’s father, Harry Davis, 86, is one of the elders featured in the program.
“It’s time for we baby boomers to grow ‘the rest of the way’ up,” asserts Dr. Ira Byock, in the program which will air on ABC-TV stations (at their discretion) beginning Jan. 6.
Dr. Byock is professor at Dartmouth Medical School (N.H.) and director of palliative care for the medical center there.
Residents of ElderSpirit, a co-housing community for age 55 and up in rural Abingdon, Va. tell why they wanted to explore alternatives to typical retirement communities. The community’s founder, Dene Peterson, says one of her passions is to change the way elders are treated in American society.
The documentary addresses the universal topic of aging through the eyes of five extended families from across the country:
The program also includes Jennie Chin Hansen, rising president of AARP; Licia Berry-Berard, geriatric social worker, and Dr. Lisa Furmanski geriatrician, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Stella Henry, author of The ElderCare Handbook and founder of Vista del Sol assisted living facility; Arthur Webb, CEO of Village Care of New York (NYC), Lynn Miller, author and stewardship counselor for Mennonite Mutual Aid; and volunteers with the SOOP (Service Opportunities for Older Persons).
The program probes phases of aging, retirement, housing options, care issues and options, relationships, aging in different cultures,and the role of faith and the church.
The documentary was produced for the “Vision and Values” series for ABC-TV by Mennonite Media in partnership with the Catholic Telecasters Group and released to ABC stations by the National Council of Churches through the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission. The executive producers are Burton Buller and Father James Gardiner; producer, Sheri Hartzler; editor, Wayne Gehman; writer, Melodie Davis; and narrator Barbra Graber.
For updates on stations airing the program check www.EmbracingAging.com, a full website under development to complement the documentary. The program will also be available in January on DVD for $24.95 with study guide and bonus content. Purchase DVD.
Melodie Davis, Mennonite Media