About the Work We're Doing to Achieve Our Mission
Our initial series of videos--"Our Time Together"--is the first project being developed by ElderReach, Inc., using research, technology, and imagination too send messages of love and encourage, comfort, and empowerment to America's elderly. "Our Time Together" will offer a series of half-hour-long programs on DVD (also possibly a weekly broadcast proogram) featuring songs, positive and loving messages, gentle movement (breathing and exercise), and special topics.
Our "target" audience is the isolated elderly--people in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and people living with family or along--whose opportunities to socialize and enjoy positive, stimulating interactions may be limited. Our programs will also be appropriate for the elderly to view with family members, especially grandchildren. Content will be interesting enough for those who are intellectually acute yet gentle enough for those with reduced cognition.
The show's messages are simple: We are all connected. Regardless of age or ability, each of us has a purpose to fulfill. We love you.
A regular cast of semi-fictional characters as well as guest poets, artists, musicians, etc., will be featured in various situations, usually meeting at "Pam's house," to share ideas, sing songs, and discuss positive ways of dealing with common concerns (e.g., the challenge of mastering new tasks, reuniting with a friend we've argued with, etc.). We will also take trips outside: into the garden, to an artist's studio, a preschool, an antique car rally, and more.
In all programs, the characters will talk at a pace slow enough to be comprehended by the elderly, without condescension or saccharine-sweetness. Language will be polite and positive. Most importantly, the characters will speak in a natural way to each other--and directly to the viewer. Viewers will be encouraged to feel that they are part of the group.
We have produced a "pilot" Episode 1 on DVD and the internet, which we are now field-testing through focus-groups at nursing homes and assisted-living communities in Connecticut. During the summer 2014, we will produce another three episodes, focusing on specific topics: movement, music (sing-along), and the beauty of the outdoors. Within the next 12-18 months, we envision producing a full first season of 20-26 episodes, as well as special productions.
Our show's cast is collaborative, multi-generational, diverse, inclusive, positive, and loving. For the pilot episode, all actors donated their time and talent. Young musicians and production professionals, just starting out in their careers, were paid a small stipend.
Now and in the future, we put mission first. Our goal is to say to the elderly, some of whom are alone much of the time and all of whom need encouragement: We are connected to you, and we love you. Please get in touch! We'd love to hear from you. And we'd love you to join our adventure in love!