Caregivers - Episode One: Madeleine and Rose
Meet Madeleine Fergus. Like all of the heroes in the Caregivers series, she is an ordinary person with extraordinary heart. For the last five years, Madeleine's life has been consumed by caring for her partially paralyzed mother, Rose. Madeleine took early retirement in order to care for Rose full-time. It's a job with long hours and little recognition. Yet despite the hardship and frustration, she finds caring for her mother naturally rewarding. When we first meet Rose in April, she is full of mischief. Although she is confined to a wheelchair, she likes to sing, go out, and get her hair done. By December, Rose is still able to help Madeleine decorate the Christmas tree. However, after battling a series of infections over the next six months, Rose deteriorates into total dependency. Madeleine, who makes do on two small pensions, must now seek more help from a system which can be difficult to access. Produced with the help of individual caregivers and community agencies, this is a "how-to" series with soul. Shot over the course of a year, these five episodes immerse you in the joys and sorrows of providing care. The caregivers featured in the series are honest and open about their feelings--and their eloquent insights offer an assessment of our health-care system's strengths and weaknesses. To Madeleine, Rose is not only her mother but her best friend. When Rose dies, Madeleine's heart is broken but her spirit isn't. She knows she has no choice but to go on. As she says, "You've got to float with the tide."
1997, 49 min 20 s
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