I Go Gaga: Welcome Home, Mom.
Bokemasukara Yoroshikuonegaishimasu Okaeri Okasan
Release : March-25 Genre : Drama
Every day, my 98-year-old father takes care of my mother who has Alzheimer's.
Meanwhile, the current wave of COVID-19 has changed everything.
A story of caregiving, dementia, and ultimately, parting
This is a story about the elderly and caregiving, about the life of a 98-year-old father and 90-year-old mother (*at the time of filming) who suffered from dementia. With the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, the cheerful mother, who had always been a whiz at housework, gradually lost her abilities to do everyday things. Meanwhile, their daughter chronicled the heartbreaking reality of their lives with as much love and humor as possible.
While it lays bare the very private reality of aging and underscores the pressing issue of Japan’s aging population, the film also portrays an enviably happy elderly couple. Although a frequently documented topic, what sets this work apart is its depiction of an inevitable fate with the love and tenderness that only a family member could capture. In a time when COVID-19 has disrupted family lives, particularly in times of need, many will embrace the story as their own.
My parents, in their 90’s, live in Kure City, Hiroshima while I, their only child, live and work in Tokyo. I have continued to chronicle their lives, even after my first documentary was completed.
In 2018, my father takes over all the housework as my mother’s dementia advances. Things take a turn for the worse when she is hospitalized with a stroke. My father, who never leaves home without his walker, makes the hour-long journey to the hospital every day to visit her and give her support. To prepare for her homecoming, my 98-year-old father begins going to the gym to build strength and stamina. My mother’s condition improves to the point where she can walk again, but shortly thereafter, she suffers a second stroke, and her health deteriorates.
Meanwhile, in March 2020, the global spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing preventative measures prohibit family members from visiting patients in the hospital.
The daughter is moved by the beauty in her father who never gives up the fight.