Film ‘Raising Elderly Parents’ makes screening debut at Lompoc’s Southside Coffee Co. | Health, Medicine and Fitness

Film ‘Raising Elderly Parents’ makes screening debut at Lompoc’s Southside Coffee Co. | Health, Medicine and Fitness

A documentary highlighting the “humor and heartache of raising elderly parents” was screened on July 29 at Lompoc’s Southside Coffee Co., in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of elderly caregivers. The screening marked the first time that the film had been viewed in a group setting, according to event hosts Family Service Agency.

Titled “It’s Not A Burden: The Humor and Heartache of Raising Elderly Parents”, the film addresses the universal topic of aging, which the nation is collectively facing. The story highlights the lives of several adults, including the film’s director Michelle Boyaner, who function as caregivers to their elderly parents — driving them to medical appointments, helping them at home, and often navigating their cognitive decline.

“It’s important that family caregivers realize they are not alone,” said De Rosenberry, senior services program manager at FSA. “There are many supportive services in our community to help them navigate these roles and remember to care for themselves as well.”

According to statistics, one in six Americans are currently caring for an adult aged 50 or older. While many caregivers report that their role gives them purpose and meaning, they oftentimes experience isolation, depression, time constraints and financial hardship.

Audience members at the film’s screening included FSA board member Jane Santos Sweeney, bottom left; Lompoc Valley Medical Center Outreach Coordinator Karen Ortiz, top left; Alzheimer Association Program & Education Manager, Laura DeLoye, top right; and Lompoc City Councilman Jeremy Ball.

In addition to support for caregivers, FSA program manager Gabriela Dodson, explained many elderly are left to fend for themselves.

“I think we need to look at how we can develop a community around our older adults, especially those who don’t have family to help care for them as they age,” she said. 

The screening was followed by a live Q & A session discussing the importance of building support for elderly residents, as well as the need to support those caring for older adults.

FSA is a Santa Barbara County nonprofit which works to improve the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable populations by ensuring access to food, shelter and other basic needs. The organization also provides case management, advocacy and mental health programs for children, seniors and their families. 

Not A Burden screening 1.jpg

Film screening attendees included, from left: FSA Executive Director Lisa Brabo; President and CEO of the Community Bank of Santa Maria, Janet Silveria; FSA Board of Directors President Terri Zuniga; FSA Major Gifts Officer Ernesto Casillas; FSA board member Marni Cooney; and Southside Coffee Co. owner Halle Bedford-Dyer.

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Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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