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The Curran family,
from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is featured in CIRCLE OF LOVE:
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.
Carol and Alfred
Francis, from Newark, Delaware, are featured in CIRCLE OF
LOVE: LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S.
Florence Collins shoots a home video of her husband Russell
(left) with son-in law Steven Everett.
WHYY Press Room
this press release (MS Word document)
CIRCLE OF LOVE, a series
of three 30-minute programs featuring first-person accounts
of the daily struggles and joys of caregiving, will be broadcast
on Wednesday, January 21; Thursday, January 22; and Friday,
January 23 at 7:30 p.m. on WHYY-TV12 (series will be rebroadcast
in its entirety on Sunday, January 25 at 1:30 p.m.). The programs
offer an intimate look at the private lives of family caregivers
and the loved ones they care for, as they deal with health issues
such as autism, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and related
WHYY provided digital
cameras to four local families enabling them to capture their
individual stories on tape. These home videos, combined with
scenes taped by WHYY, provide an innovative and personal exploration
into the often-overlooked experiences of family caregivers.
The CIRCLE OF LOVE series is one of many media platforms utilized
by WHYY to draw attention to the issue of caregiving, which
currently affects more than one quarter of the adult population.
The first episode, LIVING
WITH ALZHEIMER’S, broadcast on Wednesday, January 21 at 7:30
p.m., features Carol Francis who cares for her husband, Alfred,
who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. From their home in Newark,
Delaware, Carol explains how her husband’s diagnosis has changed
her life. She states, “I was sick to my stomach. I was heartbroken
that this had happened to him, and to us.” Eventually, she found
the strength to provide her husband with the daily care that
he so desperately needs, including assistance with basic tasks
such as bathing, shaving and changing clothes. “No one else
will take care of him like I can,” states Carol.
“The last six months
have been a roller-coaster ride,” states Florence Collins from
Wilmington, Delaware, who provides constant care for her husband
who suffers from Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD). In the program,
Florence speaks candidly about the depression she has experienced
since becoming her husband’s caregiver. “You are in a dark valley.
You are in a space where you no longer have control,” she says.
She finds solace in a caregiver support group. “Support groups
are great. You learn that there are people who are going through
the same things that you are.”
On Thursday, January
22 at 7:30 p.m., CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS will take viewers
into the home of a Cherry Hill, New Jersey, couple who have
four young children, of whom three have disabilities such as
autism, mosaic Down syndrome and mosaic fragile X . Dan Curran
explains that before he started filming his children for the
program, he had a tendency to “normalize” their behavior. “When
I got behind the camera, their differences became very apparent.”
Carolyn Curran adds, “You realize that this is your flesh and
blood. There is more to them than just their disabilities.”
On Friday, January 23
at 7:30 p.m., CARING FOR AN AGING PARENT tells the story of
Ana Mulero, a Latina woman from Philadelphia whose mother does
not speak English and is clinically depressed. Although Ana
once had a difficult and problematic relationship with her mother,
she now must care for her. Ana’s riveting chronicle of her life
as her mother’s caregiver demonstrates what it is like to provide
care for a family member, while at the same time dealing with
a strained relationship.
After each program
airs, viewers can call WHYY at 215-351-2095 to speak with professionals
who can provide additional information and resources about caregiving
and related health issues.
In addition to the three-part
series, 10 different two-minute segments that address caregiver
issues and promote resources will be broadcast on TV12 during
The CIRCLE OF LOVE series
is a joint project of WHYY Wider Horizons, a strategic service
to make a difference in the lives of older persons and children
of aging parents, and WHYY’s Caring Community Coalition, comprised
of volunteer representatives from almost 100 local community-based
organizations that serve individuals and families dealing with
end-of-life and chronic illness.
“WHYY is very honored
to present the CIRCLE OF LOVE series, says Willo Carey, Executive
Director of WHYY’s Wider Horizons. “It gives us the opportunity
to expand our efforts to address issues of family caregiving,
which is a focus of our partnership with Caring Community.”
Other upcoming events
include a special edition of 91FM’s VOICES IN THE FAMILY on
Monday, January 12 at noon (repeated on Sunday, January 18 at
6:00 a.m.). Dan Gottlieb, Ph.D., will host a special program
on Alzheimer’s. Gottlieb will also host a town meeting at WHYY’s
Technology Center in Philadelphia (date TBD) that will feature
experts on the disease. For more information about these and
other upcoming events, as well as resource listings, visit www.widerhorizons.org
WHYY-TV12 will also broadcast
THE FORGETTING: A PORTRAIT OF ALZEIMER’S on Wednesday, January
21 at 9:00 p.m. This program will help viewers better understand
and cope with the fearsome disease of Alzheimer’s. The program
will weave together the history and biology of the disease,
the intense real-world experiences of Alzheimer’s patients and
the race to find a cure. Immediately following the program at
10:30 p.m., WHYY will rebroadcast CIRCLE OF LOVE: LIVING WITH
Executive Producer for CIRCLE OF LOVE
is Trudi Brown. Andrea Campbell is Producer/Director.
CIRCLE OF LOVE was
made possible by Sound Partners for Community Health , a program
of the Benton Foundation, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, which is dedicated to improving health and health
care for all Americans. Additional funding provided by The Patricia
Kind Family Foundation.