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September 17, 2022 3:30 am
Tom and Amanda Dwyer called the program to discuss their new documentary about a caregiving family titled "UNSEEN."
The film follows Jess and Ryan Ronne, a blended family with 8 children, including Lucas, who has profound disabilities requiring total care. Their situation has gotten more and more challenging as Lucas gets older and stronger. With limited resources and support, caregiving takes a toll on their physical and mental health.
It’s a common story among parent caregivers: the isolation, uncertainty about the future, lack of options, and a never-ending daily to-do list means the role of caregiver overpowers nearly every other facet of life. Video diaries from diverse caregivers featured in the film illustrate this universality, while interviews with mental health experts and policy/legal advocates provide a broader view on the societal impacts.
Through the power of unfiltered, compelling human stories, Unseen cultivates compassion and tangible support for the caregivers in our communities.
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Starting today that caregiver legal.com, now that I was wrong caregiver. This Peter Rosenberg. This program is a favorite caregiver. Glad that you are with this this new film called unseeded documentary. This was about his better caregiving family. I have the creative minds behind this film here with me. Tom and Amanda Dyer from Nashville, Tennessee. This film is creating quite a buzz around the country. It is a subject that is near and dear of course to my heart and I want to welcome you all to the program so thanks for being here with us. Thank you. Tell me what peak your interest on that be your background in film. What about this grabs your interest now connection to this world to begin with them or not parents or caregivers ourselves talking about doing creative project something for fun that we went to collaborate on together right about that time. We just stumbled across the Ronnie family through social media realize they live not too far from us. We mention that they thought documentary would be a powerful tool to show the challenges of being a caregiver can really peel back the curtain, give people a better glimpse into their interests and once he met with them they just told us in story that really blew our minds and we do so immediately that there are some potential here for documentary to be powerful tool tell their stories and people's minds started off as a passion project for us to just be. We do a lot of client work and we wanted to do something that was more meaningful and to something that we could kinda sink her teeth into something that these families are going through that we had no knowledge of previously and so once we started to become aware of some of the stuff.
It was pretty surprising to us and something we felt like we could help tell these these experiences and the stories for these families. What what is their background. What is their story just as a brief overview of the really high level and they are a blended family.
Both Jesse and Ryan have their first spouses passed away and so they were caregivers for their spouse.
This first when they found each other and that made blended their families and and now they had eight children one of whom is Lucas has profound disabilities just gone through a crazy journey of personnel not even thinking he was going to survive. But then he was born they had tons of support from their church, community, family, friends, and to take that for granted and then as he got older and a moving relative to the more rural environment. Some of that help fellow way and they just everything change data started as he got older, things are more difficult to help fellow way and the resources fell away and that's when they were just really struggling and looking around what what we do when we don't have support and we don't know what to do. What did you know you would exist with no knowledge of this world of caregivers. What surprised you, what would you take away what dismayed you would break your heart, all of the above short answer is quite a bit.
I think that one of the surprising things was just the isolation that a lot of these families experience.
Just being as busy and as occupied as they are with just you know the things that are necessary for them to take care of their family or their individual that they are caring for.
I mean it's just for a lot of limits. Constant, there's not much relief. And one thing we talk about a lot is respite.
You know, the idea of respite and a lot of these families just doesn't exist and so that in just the got a lot of feedback from other caregivers. During this and just the similarities between the issues that they experience across the board were just always surprising that so many of the same or similar stories over and over and we had no idea that this was such a common issue with the staff that we found this 16.8 million people caring for and asking for a child with no out eldercare or other kinds of caregiving with numbers like that, there's a good chance you know what he knows a caregiver. In some fashion so as I opening up to us to realize that there's people there's caregivers all over and it's just so easy to not realize that because life caregiving happens at home, and because it's can be difficult to get out into the community is not accessible.
It's not built for families that it's easy just to not see them enough and what this made us in his way.
Motivated this project.
What are some things that approach would a positive way that you say okay this is life-changing for me this is a principal obscene going on here. Whether it's faith related. Whether it's what what what what is your take away that Tom and Amanda now.
Your lives will never be the same because of this mean so many things truly think that you can't care about something you don't know about and then now that we know we have to chaotically we care, we are invested in this now and get something that we can't unknow house so we feel very motivated to do what we can for this community to use the skills that we have to bring this message to light and we are totally grateful and indebted to the families that were willing to share with us you know, I didn't know what our angle was what our motivation lies. They trusted us in total with their stories gave us glimpses into their life behind the scenes and share things that are difficult and in made them vulnerable so we are truly grateful to then be willing to do that and I think it's it also is encouraging to see that other people do you care to.
As we bring this to communities and hear from people are watching it. We are seeing that people do care and want to know what can I do not now that I'm aware. What can I do how can I help so I hope that's encouraging for the caregivers that are listening to know that people become aware there is more compassion building about you to think one of the things that surprised me was inspiring is just a lot of families that we talk to and work with. They are so busy and so they have so much to do and yet they they find the time and the capacity to, you know, advocate for other families as well, such as obviously such a tightknit community that really has each other's backs, and it just it was it was fun to see these people these families go, you know, kind of lock arm in arm to help about each other in any way they can, especially when they have so much to do just the sum of the perseverance that that a lot of them that I saw a lot of them was particularly inspiring. So deftly eye-opening in a lot of ways moments when you were behind the camera look at the playback you watch this thing unfold, or maybe just in the edit room where you just cut I had to stop quickly get your breath a little bit that you have those kind of moments yeah absolutely were very grateful to the Ronnie family just for being as open as they were, and that was something that we had to really balance right is because so much of caregiving and so much of the struggle that these families go through happens behind closed doors so people don't see it often and they were the Ronnie family was kind enough to let us behind those closed doors and so and be vulnerable with us and that at times was difficult to mean just to see what their daily life played out, and so, daily life played out, and so there it was. It was tough at times just to watch. You know what they go through and just how meticulously they have had to make a vegan structure their days so that things run at least somewhat smoothly when they can. And so it was.
There were times where it was quite surprising that hearing the stories from selling different delays in getting the feedback people who have seen it or hearing how meaningful it is today and how they've found eye-opening or appealing to larger that for the fuel to keep government you is a lot of effort to create and distribute documentary and we honestly didn't totally see all the cufflinks by their responses and then telling us how important it is that is that fuel to keep going even when it is challenging subject matter and challenging just to manage the premiering this in various places to be little bit about the prayers that are going on. You have love that you have satellite event. You've got online stuff Toby what's going on with the last minute you were doing a lot of different ways of getting out. We have an interest in screenings and excellent coming up locally here in Nashville on the 25th, and numerosity and the other in person ones around the country that our website caregiver dock DOC.com/watch that the ongoing list of screenings that are popping up seeking keep an eye on that and numerosity doing a national premier in November in along with national family caregivers month so that's coming at you, no matter where you are. You will be able to access that one was next for you guys.
This is obviously taking you by storm. This is a bigger project delivering to what's next. While we are working on bonus content to go along dive into some of these issues a little bit more deeply on something anyone's interested in sharing to contribute to that information on our website there as well and we do have some other projects in the works are still very early on in development stage but were hoping some of us can pan out and we can start telling more stories to do it extended version with the Gabriel, the lingering route we have lots of bloopers of my health that would be good with this is better. This is very exciting and I'm glad to see the a concerted effort of the sublet here about the perception that you're doing obviously audiences around the country that are seeing this are being very moved by this and it's resonating deeply and it's an extraordinary project that you two will take it all in particular since you have no connection with this you just sold the need and there out there a lot of us caregivers out there and I would like to thank you for doing this.
I think this could be an extraordinary film and project figures this with Tom and Amanda Dyer.
The movie is called unseen go to caregiver dock.com caregiver dock DOC.com and talk about so much for being here with no