WGBH News and Media Relations


November 7, 2013

You’re Not Alone WGBH News Dedicates Week of FOCUS Coverage to the Care of Elderly Parents

Multi-platform series on WGBH 2, 89.7 WGBH and WGBHnews.org looks at the emotional, economic and physical toll of caring for elderly parents
Monday, November 11 through Friday, November 15
BOSTON, Mass. (November 7, 2013) – Across greater Boston and in communities throughout the United States, adult children are dealing with the challenges of their parents getting older and are often forced to play a new role as a caregiver for their parents. All next week, WGBH News will cover the emotional, economic and physical struggles people face when they find themselves responsible for someone else’s care.
The FOCUS series, titled ‘You’re Not Alone: Caring for Our Elderly Parents,’ was inspired by personal experiences from members of the WGBH News team, including Greater Boston host and executive editor Emily Rooneyand WGBH News Managing Editor Linda Polach. The series will include reports across all WGBH News platforms: WGBH 2, 89.7 WGBH and WGBHnews.org.
“In recent years, I found myself dealing with elderly parents who had a difficult time managing their lives. My sister and I flew back and forth to Michigan many times trying to help our mom and dad with decisions about their health and living situation. Throughout the difficult process, we learned a lot, especially that we needed help of our own navigating the process,” said Polach, who led the effort to produce this series. “We hope that WGBH News’ ‘You’re Not Alone’ series will help provide a little bit of relief to an emotionally difficult process for the many, many adult children who are caring for their parents.”
For several weeks, WGBH News has asked viewers and listeners to share one piece of advice for others who are dealing with the challenges of caring for a parent or loved one. Throughout the week, WGBH News will highlight some of this advice in its reporting and through resources made available online.
The series officially launches on Monday, November 11 during WGBH Radio’s Morning Edition with Bob Seay. Reporter Liz Ross profiles one local family that has chosen to care for their parents in their own home and asks what toll that takes and what resources are available to help. Later that evening on Greater Boston (7pm on WGBH 2), Gail Huff explores the emotion and physical toll on caregivers.
Additional stories throughout the week explore the maze of care, the stress caregiving can cause on sibling relationships, the challenge of dealing with financial issues over long distances and more. Also, this week's Under the Radar with Callie Crossley (Sunday, November 10 at 6pm) will highlight the lesser-told issues in elder care.
The week-long focus on elder care is the latest in a series of FOCUS weeks WGBH News has broadcast. Most recently, WGBH News dedicated several days of coverage to concussions in youth sports, as a complement to WGBH’s FRONTLINE production League of Denial.
The full schedule, subject to change, for the ‘You’re Not Alone’ series is highlighted below. In addition to these reports, Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will explore these topics and others throughout the week on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio (weekdays, noon-2pm).
Monday, November 11
WGBH Radio (Morning Edition with Bob Seay and All Things Considered with Jordan Weinstein) – Liz Ross profiles one family that has chosen to care for their parents in their own home; Callie Crossley's weekly commentary focuses on care for the elderly.
Greater Boston with Emily Rooney (7pm on WGBH 2) – Gail Huff explores the emotion and physical toll on caregivers. Emily Rooney talks with Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize winner and co-founder of The Conversation Project.
Tuesday, November 12
WGBH Radio – Cristina Quinn explores the conflict and stress between siblings that caring for a loved one can cause; Sean Corcoran profiles the Shine Program, which trains seniors to help others navigate various systems, including Medicare and Social Security.
Greater Boston with Emily Rooney– Jared Bowen profiles Cristina Brueggeman, a Massachusetts General Hospital nurse whose parents lived in Indiana. Concerned that her mother, who suffered from dementia, could be a victim of fraud and theft after her father’s death, Cristina was forced to face the enormous challenge of navigating her mom’s care from hundreds of miles away, while also working full time.
Wednesday, November 13
WGBH Radio – Reporter Ibby Caputo has an intimate conversation with her own parents and future in-laws about expectations of who will care for them; Liz Ross explores the emotional and physical stress than can lead to burnout for caregivers.
Greater Boston with Emily Rooney – Adam Reilly reports on Rogerson Communities’ Adult Day Health program which offers a respite for caregivers.
Thursday, November 14
WGBH Radio – Reporter Gail Huff examines the stress adult children take on as caregivers for their parents.
Greater Boston with Emily Rooney– Edgar B. Herwick III profiles a Providence, R.I. family who talk about the value of having an early conversation about how parents want to live as they get older.
Friday, November 15
WGBH Radio – Cristina Quinn explores the cultural considerations that factor into care for elderly parents.
Basic Black (7:30pm on WGBH 2) – The panel discusses health disparities faced by older people of color, as well as the cultural differences in how people of color care for the older family members.
About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBH 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black, High School Quiz Show, and Neighborhood Kitchens. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB Classical New England; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.


WGBH Media Relations

Emily Balk

Catherine Burke