“Sundown”

The award winning independent film “Sundown” will be shown at the Tewksbury Public Library on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. Pictured is Paul Kandarian as Soloman and Zele Avradopolos as Clara, husband and wife dealing with the realities of dementia.

(Courtesy photo)

A showing of Sun­down, a film which chronicles a family adjusting to the realities and ravages of dementia, will happen on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Tewksbury Public Library. The movie was made by Massachusetts independent filmmaker Brendan Boogie and is modeled after his experience with his father, who died in 2015, suffering for years with dementia.

The term “sundowning” refers to a neurological condition which causes confusion and restlessness typically by those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The film was shot locally and was funded by a Kick­starter campaign. Boogie hopes the film will give caregivers and those who have loved ones affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s an acknowledgement of their struggle with day to day living, care and loss.

According to the movie’s director, the movie plot shows “irresponsible gambler Dewey Shea (Grayson Powell) return(ing) home to help his college professor mother Clara (Zele Avrado­poulos) and supermom sister Tracy (Caitlin Graham) deal with the family patriarch Solo­mon (Paul Kandarian) as his once-brilliant mind slips away. As Solomon gets further from them, each family member deals with the loss differently with varying degrees of (often comical) failure.”

See a trailer at www.sundownfilm.com. The movie showing is free to the public.

So often the burden that is placed on the caregiver goes unrecognized or unsupported. Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, for example, has a Care­giver Support Program which offers trainings, scholarships for adult day care and even has relaxation events for caregivers.

Tewksbury Senior Center Out­reach Coordinator Nicole Hut­cheon runs a support group for caregivers on the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Senior Center.

“After visiting residents in the community, I realized there was a need for the caregivers to learn how to take care of themselves,” she said.

Her group encompasses caregivers for all types of senior issues including dementia, Alz­heimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. and is a way for people to bounce ideas off of each other in a confidential, non-judgmental setting.

“We can help them take care of their loved ones by working through issues and making them stronger as caregivers,” she said.

Elder Care Services of the Mer­rimack Valley, Inc. 800-892-0890. Tewksbury Senior Center 978-640-4482.

In Wilmington, support services are handled through the Wil­ming­ton Department of Elderly Services. Director Terri Marci­ello told the Town Crier that their peer support group has been a wonderful way for people to help each other.

“Our case manager, Laura Pic­kett, gets out in the community and does home visits,” she said.

Pickett runs a support group each month and helps coordinate services for loved ones and caregivers alike.

“I encourage people to call Lau­ra at 978-657-7595 and get in­volved with her group,” said Mar­ciello.

“This film is so important for families” she added, “especially for understanding the sundowning process.”

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