Caregiver Movies

7 Films About Family, Friends, Love, and Loss

Caregiver Movies

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Movies have a truly unique ability to reach our hearts and minds. Whether they whisk us away to a fantasy far removed from our real lives, or touch something inside us in a way that nothing else can, a wonderful film can be both a journey and a mirror.

Films about caregiving are certainly no exception. As aging family and friends impact all of us, it’s more important than ever for the movies to reflect our lives and communicate our truths and realities. Some, of course, do this better than others.

In this post, we take a look at seven movies that shine a light on caregiving in various ways, from humor to tragedy to the joys and challenges of the every day. Which are your favorites, and which movies about caregiving did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

1. The Descendants.

The Descendants Movie Poster
A 2011 movie starring George Clooney, The Descendants takes a tragi-comic approach to end-of-life issues and the varying emotional responses that naturally come with major life changes. With its focus on family endurance, it’s a well-done reminder of our abilities to heal in the face of hardship.

2. Nebraska.

Nebraska Movie Poster
A recent film by Alexander Payne, who also helmed The Descendants, Nebraska looks at caregiving from the male perspective. Although the film is often bleak, down to being filmed in black and white, it also shows how two men can find love, warmth, and respect in the context of aging and acceptance.

3. Robot & Frank.

Robot & Frank Movie Poster
A tour de force by leading man Frank Langella, Robot & Frank “works as both a quirky indie drama and as a smart, thoughtful meditation on aging” (RottenTomatoes.com). A premise that seems silly – an elderly ex-con gets a robot butler – instead examines the process of aging with wit and humor.

4. The Savages.

The Savages Movie Poster
This 2007 film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney looks at how caregiving impacts the caregivers. Playing a brother and sister, the two leads return home to care for their once-abusive father and discover maturity, commitment, and compassion in the process.

5. August: Osage County.

August Osage County Movie Poster
A darker look at family caregiving dynamics, August: Osage County boasts an incredible cast including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Caregivers will recognize the challenges of balancing caregiving across family members and the spectrum of emotions faced by aging parents as caregiving becomes a necessity.

6. Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Dallas Buyers Club Movie Poster
A less traditional perspective on caregiving, this story of an AIDS patient who finds love and support in his efforts to beat the disease highlights the importance of building a community in the face of illness.

7. Still Mine.

Still Mine Movie Poster
This graceful, tender examination of growing old together features heartwarming performances and an inspiring story of the bonds, sacrifices, and joys of marriage and commitment.


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3 Comments

  1. sharon November 22, 2014 Reply

    A wonderful memory that I will always hold onto, was watching the movie, On Golden Pond with my father in law. As he has recently passed away, this was the last visit that I had with him at my in-laws home. My father in law was a very special person. He spent the last eleven months of his life in a nursing home. Always had a great, positive attitude., even when he was declining. He had many reasons to be unhappy after leaving his home, but somehow managed to stay content and accepting of his situation. His main concern was that his wife was surviving on her own. She did well, and still is. My father in law taught so many people the meaning of grace.

  2. Teri Smesrud December 3, 2014 Reply

    I look forward to seeing the movies you have listed. This past weekend my husband and I watched a movie called Evening. I thought it was ar Romantic Comedy but it turned out to be about a woman facing imminent death and her final memories. It also addressed how the lives of her two daughters were affected. It was quite good and very touching! It was full of many great actors and actresses.

  3. Alicia November 8, 2015 Reply

    In Marvin’s Room is another good caregiver movie.

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