Tight Knit™ is a content series about the many ways people are working to build stronger relationships and communities. This season explores the complexity and joy inherent in providing care for an older family member. The stories provide a glimpse into a life stage that is or will become familiar to many of us, as the number of family caregivers grows rapidly. By the end of 2020, an estimated 117 million older Americans will need assistance of some kind.
Increasingly, it’s those closest to us – our partners, parents, siblings, friends and neighbors – who take on the many visible and hidden responsibilities associated with care. And, as our society adapts to the new norm of social distancing, it’s important to consider the additional impact it will have on caregivers.
Tight Knit™ opens a door into the day-to-day lives of caregivers in Southeast Michigan and Western New York (regions central to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s mission) through eight podcast episodes and two short documentaries.
While the stories provide different experiences, they are universal in recognizing the family caregiver as a vital and selfless part of every community, deserving our unlimited support, attention and advocacy.
Tight Knit™ launches on August 4, 2020. Until then, keep scrolling to find previews of the podcasts and documentaries below.
Enid & Mami
Enid & Mami steps into the daily life of Enid Mojica-McGinnis – an educator, pastor and caretaker to her mother, Emilia Roman. The short documentary provides a glimpse into the humor, honor and hardship of the primary caretaker role.
Today Was A Good Day
Today Was A Good Day offers different perspectives on the day-to-day life of a caregiver, as seen through the eyes of three Southeast Michigan residents who have taken on the many roles and responsibilities of caring for an aging parent.
02: Stepping Up
Detroit’s Angelena Taylor was only 28 when she became her father’s main caregiver after he had a stroke. This millennial daughter, educator, and former Ms. Black Michigan is focused on her dad while also setting goals for herself.
03: It Just Takes One Person
Aging in place can be harder in rural communities, where resources and trained help can be scarce or far away. But in Chautauqua County, New York, we meet one woman making a huge difference for countless isolated caregivers.
04: Difficult Relationships
You might become a parent’s caregiver out of love, or a wish to give back. But that’s much harder for children who were abused by the parent who needs them.
05: Family Photo
Meet two women who moved across the country to look after their respective sets of aging parents, who came to the U.S. from India and had trouble accepting them both individually, when they came out as lesbians, and as a married couple.
06: 4 Generations + 1 Cute Dog
Four generations of the Roberts family live in one house in central Michigan. They use the house itself, off-the-shelf technology and other creative ways to help look after a family member with dementia and training Bichon Frise to be a service dog.
07: The Unseen Hand
A neurologist found himself entirely unprepared, emotionally and professionally, for his father’s Alzheimer’s disease. But over time, Alzheimer’s revealed a side of his father that changed the son’s view of his dad – and the brain – forever.
08: Canopy of Neighbors
Many people in the U.S. are getting older without a close family member who can take care of them. A Buffalo organization is one of many global “villages” that draw on volunteers to help otherwise isolated people with all aspects of caregiving.
- AARP Michigan
- Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan
- Alzheimer’s Association Western NY
- Area Agency on Aging 1B (SE MI)
- Ascension Michigan
- Canopy of Neighbors
- Catholic Health
- Cleveland Clinic
- Hearts & Hands
- Health Foundation of Western & Central NY
- Henry Ford Health Services
- Hospice & Palliative Care of Buffalo
- Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit
- Michigan Assisted Living Association
- Northstar Care Community Hospice of Michigan
- PACE Southeast Michigan
- Pride Center of WNY
- SAGE Metro Detroit
About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York, through its giving in four focus areas – active lifestyles, caregivers, entrepreneurship and economic development, and preparing for success. The two geographic regions reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best.
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