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Westwood Media Center wins volunteerism award

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

For creating a seven-part video series designed to help people understand caring for the elderly free of charge, the Westwood Media Center has been awarded the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (NVCC) Paul Smith Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

In a release, the NVCC said in part: “Our selection committee was impressed by your involvement with the Elder Care Alliance to produce its video project. We recognize that this was no small task and required a tremendous amount of resources from your entire team. While we wait for the final product, we already know how professionally well done the video series is shaping up to be and will reflect well on the Chamber, the Elder Care Alliance and WMC.”

The videos will be hosted on Westwood Media’s YouTube channel, as well as the Chamber’s website and those of the companies that contributed. Executive Director Melinda Garfield of Westwood Media Center praised those who made the video and described its content.

“We were approached by the Chamber, specifically the Elder Care Alliance, which is made up of all the different Chamber members that offer elder care services, to do something with a video that would help their clients have a place to go to get information. We scripted this awesome seven-part series that follows this big family around. The elders are supposed to be in their like late 70s, early 80s, and the daughter is supposed to be in her late 50s, early 60s.”

While this may sound like the generic public service announcement videos you used to watch in school, the series actually portrays a realistic - and rather touching - account of a family coming to grips with the aging process.

“The first video is talking about having that awkward heart-to-heart conversation about who is your healthcare proxy and where do you want to go when the time comes, trying to portray a real conversation. The second part is the legal and financial portion. In the third part, the dad falls, and then what happens? Where does he go? The fifth one is, they don’t have enough services at home and it’s time to find a place. The sixth one is they’re in an elder facility and they notice the mom’s starting to lose her mind and they touch upon dementia. The last one is the father got cancer, and he’s now in hospice, and there’s this whole conversation between him and his daughter and it simulates his passing. Throughout the whole thing, it’s all the things the caregiver should pay attention to, and tricks and resources that people who are watching the video looking for information could use.”

The video is not yet finished, with the editing process remaining. However, Westwood residents wanting to see an award-winning series online without paying Netflix or HBO prices should keep their eyes on, where the seven-part video will be posted upon its completion.

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