Dinner and a Movie

Geriatric Clerkship Assignment: Dinner and a Movie

For this activity you are required to view the movie “Away from Her” which depicts an elderly couple dealing with challenges that arise when one of them develops dementia. You should come to the final wrap-up session prepared to discuss the following questions:

Photo of the poster for the movie Away From Her

  1. In the movie, Alzheimer’s is described as “like a series of circuit breakers in a large house flipping off one by one.” Have you ever known someone afflicted with this disease? What was your experience like?
  2. Fiona developed a very close relationship with Aubrey once she moved to the nursing home. What do you think about romantic relationships that develop between demented residents in long term care facilities? What should be done about them, if anything? Does it matter if either of the demented residents have spouses that are still living?
  3. Grant (Fiona’s husband) and Marian (Aubrey’s husband) also develop a relationship, one that ultimately becomes intimate. What do you think about the non-demented spouses of demented people having such relationships while their spouses are still alive? Do you think these relationships indicate betrayal or do you think they may be a part of a necessary coping mechanism?
  4. Marian told Grant that she could not afford to keep Aubrey at the nursing home because financing his care there would mean that she would have to sell their home. Do you think she was being selfish? Why or why not?

You are encouraged to view this movie over dinner on your own time in small groups. Dinner is only a suggestion and completely your responsibility. There are three copies available for checkout from the clerkship coordinator. Please return the movie the day after you check it out so that it will be available for other students to use & must be returned by wrap up afternoon.