" /> Andrew Jenks, Room 335: January 2008 Archives

« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 29, 2008

MUST READ: Senior Citizen Issues Seldom Mentioned in Campaigns or in Washington

this is really interesting--and very suprsising:

http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Politics/2008/8-01-22-SenCitIssuesSeldom.htm

January 28, 2008

Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/redeye/index.html

Scroll down to 'Red Eye on Demand'...right under the picture of John Mccain.

January 26, 2008

Alzheimers

It was always difficult to know whether Bill or other residents had 'Alzheimers'. Research is making strides but we're still in a tough spot.

The latest medications can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but none are able to reverse its devastating effects:

http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Alzheimers/2008/8-01-16-PortableDevice.htm

Alzheimers

It was always difficult to know whether Bill or other residents had 'Alzheimers'. Research is making strides but we're still in a tough spot.

The latest medications can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but none are able to reverse its devastating effects:

http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Alzheimers/2008/8-01-16-PortableDevice.htm

January 25, 2008

Libby

I spoke to Libby this afternoon. It's hard to get in touch with her because she always thinks that a telemarkerter is bothering her. It was great to hear that she keeps one of our Best Film trophies on a table outside of her room--proudly displaying her cinematic success to anyone who passes by her 2nd floor room. She said she's had reporters from NY call her which she always laughs at. She, of course, was quick to mention how often she thinks of Tammy.

More on this Green House project:

http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/1526-4114/PIIS1526411406601765.pdf

January 24, 2008

Red Eye

For those late birds out there...watch Fox News tonight/tomorrow early morning at 3AM EST/12AM Pacific...we come on at the end of the show around 3:40--its called 'Red Eye'

Past Entries

If you're ever bored --look at the past entries on our blog. It goes back to Santa Barbara about 2 years ago, then our trips across the world.

I think this is a great idea---could be lot of fun:

http://www.writeseniors.com/

If anyone has a good experience let me know. I am just testing the waters.

January 22, 2008

Different kind of 'assisted living'

I have had the chance over the past year or two to speak with many, many people who work in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etc. Quite often the question is asked, 'What is the ideal for a senior who is alone, and needs assistance?' I think it's obvious that assisted living can work-just look at Bill and Tammy, both of whom, in many ways prospered in assisted living. Tammy was counted on to be the leader of the residents, making sure the right people were watching Jeopardy, that everyone was laughing, and that the salad was kept fresh. Someone like Bill was kept busy with all of the women, the weekly field trips, etc.

With that said, there are interesting alternatives. Check this out:

http://www.ncbcapitalimpact.org/default.aspx?id=146

What is a Green House home?

Green House homes are residences for 6 to 10 elders who require skilled nursing care and want to live a rich life. They are a radical departure from traditional skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities, altering size, design, and organization to create a warm community. Their innovative architecture and services offer privacy, autonomy, support, enjoyment and a place to call home. Green House homes are developed and operated by long-term care organizations in partnership with The Green House Project and NCB Capital Impact.

January 19, 2008

Saturday Night


HBO has just posted information on how to get involved:

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/andrewjenks/resources.html

Here are some pictures from our screening in NYC:

http://www.filmmagic.com/ItemListing.aspx?cgl=299889&evntI=0

January 17, 2008

Did we visit after?

I have received a lot of emails asking if I have since returned to Harbor Place.

Luckily, about a year after our stay we went back. We actually filmed that also.

As we drove in you wouldn't believe who was walking towards the car and on his way to the Dollar Store--Bill...We quickly stopped and shouted 'Bill!'. He looked over but couldn't see. He tried adjusting his glasses as he walked towards the car...'Hey I know you'. We parked and walked with Bill back to Harbor Place.

Tammy and Libby knew we were on our way and were waiting outside.

'Where have you boys been? You're late!' yelled Libby. We laughed and walked around. My mom was with us, and sure enough, Bill began hitting on her--nothing new there.

We sat down with residents and a few employees and watched the movie. Now of course I thought Tammy and Libby would want to see every scene but as Tammy said, 'We live this everyday!'. Libby said 'Fast-foward to the parts we're in!' They loved it--even the part towards the end when they get in that yelling match because Tammy didn't wait for Libby when she went on the 'nightly walk'. 'I don't know why you can't wait...I sure do get upset' Libby laughed with Tammy.

Gotta run but more stories on our return to Harbor Place--thank you for your continued messages to Libby and general thoughts on the movie.

Comments


I would like to thank everyone for posting so many comments on this blog--there are so many all over the place! We will keep bloging and hope you keep posting any thoughts you have related or not so related to the film. They are so encouraging. One posting from someone who caught the film on Cinemax seriously considers 'adopting a grandparent' (from the comments posted after the blog 'Tonight')

Have a goodnight, Andrew

January 16, 2008

Post-The Big Day


It has been a really incredible 36 hours. For starters, I want to thank all of the great people who emailed all of the residents in the film. There is a link on our website that you can click on to email the residents (they, of course, don't do email but I relay the message). http://www.andrewjenksroom335.com/HarborPlaceContact.php Now with that said, before you do email I want to remind everyone of the passing of Eleanor, Bill, and Tammy. They were all incredible people and even better friends. All of your amazing emails to them will not go unseen--in fact, if anything it will mean so much more--I am meeting with Tammy's family in a few weeks and speak with Bill's daughter through email. I really believe that your messages mean so much to the families.

Here was the letter I wrote after their passing: http://www.andrewjenksroom335.com/blog/2006/11/for_bill_and_tammy.html

I was going to take the 'contact the residents' off the site but I think it's really cool for the families to hear what their dad, mom, brother, or sister did to impact people all over the world.

We have had hundreds and hundreds of emails pouring in and we're reading them all--and plan on emailing back. For those who want to Facebook us we'd love to be friends. In the next few days I will continue blogging about the exciting past few days, and also talk about the future of senior citizens here in America--at least from our strange perspective.

January 15, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has been so nice!

Check all of the great people who are spreading the word:

From CBS Early Show:
http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/earlyshow/main500202.shtml

From CW Early Show
http://weblogs.cw11.com/news/local/morningnews/blogs/2008/01/room_335.html

From NY Post
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152008/tv/old_folks_at_home_659030.htm

From Daily News:
http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2008/01/15/2008-01-15_daily_grind_eight_questions_for_a_docume.html

There is much, much more which we will continue to post!

Tonight!


Good morning everyone:

If you're up at 8AM watch CBS' The Early Show. We're going to be promoting the movie to over 2 million people!

For those that our new to the blog, we post something everyday!

We also got some reviews today which is cool: NY Times, Daily Sun, Daily News, all over the board, all over the country!

We posted this a few weeks back but just for new visitors to the site I wanted to post again.

Today, there are 35 million senior citizens living in America. In about twenty-five years, that number will more than double, to about 71 million. Surprisingly, nobody seems to realize that our country will have to do something with all of these people. Ancient civilizations treated their elderly as kings and pearls of wisdom. Eastern cultures follow a similar pattern: Japan has their own ‘Old Folks Day’.

But not us.

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even so-called elderly resorts are everywhere. ‘McAging Homes’ have amassed across the country to become a multi-billion dollar industry. As the baby boomer generation now reaches their golden years, this trend will only grow.

Sometimes statistics and growing problems are treated like an economics test: we evaluate the dilemma and properly allocate the necessary solutions. However, what happens when we personalize this issue? After all, we are talking about our parents, our grandparents, our friends, and eventually, ourselves. We are talking about a generation that made us, and the world we live in, possible.

It's no secret that we're all getting older. The inevitability of aging looms over us every time we admire youth, worry for an elderly relative, or even look in the mirror. However, we know very little about the thoughts and minds of the older population of our nation. Sure, we've heard about their great achievements historically, their healthcare wars, and their politics, but how often do we look deeper into their individual lens? How often do we ask questions about their inner most thoughts: the things that make them tick? Not so long ago the senior citizens were asked all kinds of questions; they were the voice that led new generations into the future. It seems we've learned to feel bad for the elderly; as if life is over for them, and they've entered into a period of demoralizing waiting. Should we feel bad? Are they numb? What triggers their nostalgia? What do they have to offer younger generations? And, how do they feel about life after life?

On May 30th, 2005 I moved into an assisted living home called Harbor Place. I played bingo, hung out in the courtyards contemplating the golden years, and even helped fellow neighbors change their oxygen tanks. However, unlike Bill (age 80) or Tammy (age 96), I was only 19 years old.

January 13, 2008

Updates


It's Sunday so we're only a couple of days away now!

http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080113/ENTERTAINMENT/801130322/-1/RSS01

Be back soon!

January 09, 2008

Time Out!

We're a few days away now from the premiere!

Be sure to catch CW-11 tomorrow morning from 9:30AM-10AM. I'll be on talking about Bill, Tammy and the gang. Soon after we're going to talk to some radio shows which will play at various points:

Bob Edwards Show – XM Satellite Radio
MTV Radio
Ron and Fez Show – XM Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio "Getting Late" comedy show

It was happy birthday yesterday for the world’s oldest man, Tomoji Tanabe, who turned 112. Saying again that he wants to live forever, Tanabe does not drink alcohol or smoke. He does read his newspaper every day and write in his diary.

He is still one of the youngest men to hold the title in many years. Tanabe celebrated in his hometown of Miyazaki, Japan, with rice, miso soup and seaweed. Tanabe was born Sept. 18, 1895

Also going on?

Early Thursday evening, Elmer Sherwin, 92, eyed a Megabucks machine at the Cannery Casino & Hotel in North Las Vegas with a feeling it might be lucky. It was. It paid off in a way few can imagine when he became the first person in the history of Megabucks to win the top award twice. The $21,147,947 jackpot comes 16 years after his first Megabucks top jackpot of $4.6 million at the Mirage in 1989.

With this jackpot, Sherwin will make a second donation to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and continue to share with his family, including his son and daughter-in-law in Las Vegas. The lucky winner just could not resist surprising his family with the win. He planned to let them hear of his jackpot on the news. "I want to see the looks on their faces when they hear," said Sherwin.

OK!

mail-2.jpg

January 08, 2008

Big, bad...Bill

Hey all,

We really think this movie is going to be a great tribute to the characters in the movie. TimeOut has just done a nice piece on the movie and there is a great picture of Bill.

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/time-in/25467/the-good-old-boy

One resident whom I clearly develop a special relationship with is Bill and so I thought I'd write a little...

One day I had put his interview time slot during the same slot as a woman that I knew he had a crush on. I had hooked it up—and it worked. They had been holding hands ever since. Bill was 80 and had a bad dose of dementia. But everyday he went to the Dollar Store to get candy for the other residents. He couldn’t even eat the candy because of his Diabetes. It was charity, in its purest form. Bill could hardly remember anything, long term or short term. But somehow, and it will always boggle my mind, he learned the route to the Dollar Store (he even had a few shortcuts), and everyday, bought 5 bucks worth of candy. He was fun; always horsing around, talking about women…I just had to understand that he had a special way of thinking. We would spend at least an hour in the courtyards as Bill asked me which women I thought were good-looking enough for his taste. We would arm wrestle. Make fun of each other. He loved tugging on my hair. I tapped his baldhead. Bill was slowly loosing it, but his soul never missed a beat.

January 04, 2008

You Tube

Posted from a great fan in the audience from my time in Sydney a few months back....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUVsNyPkyT4

Meanwhile, welcome to our continued non-stop coverage of 'Room 335'

Parade will be doing a piece on Saturday/Sunday so anyone in the country can get that. And Daily News on Wednesday. TimeOut on Tuesday night I think....Stay tuned...

I wanted to talk a little about Tammy today...

When I first met Tammy, I was sitting with Dotty, who was chronically in bad health. It was the sixth or seventh day and I was nervous, almost intimidated by the dozens of elderly people looking at me, staring at me, and talking about me. Not to mention, Jonah and Will were holding cameras and cheap boom mikes wherever I went. It was a walking circus—in an elderly home. But then I met Tammy.
“You’re the college kid?”—she wasted no time.
I nodded yes.
“Oh boy. You’re in for some serious trouble.” Everyone laughed.
But Tammy didn’t.
“I just got back from the drug store,” she said. Then she held up a small, brown paper bag.
“Birth control pills,” Tammy smiled.
Anyone who could hear, burst in laughter. I was stunned. Even if it was only for a second, we all smiled and forgot about our respective troubles. I didn’t know it yet, but Tammy was a miracle. Libby, Tammy’s best friend, would push her on a wheelchair from table to table, as she told joke after joke. But Tammy did more than crack one-liners. She wasn’t afraid of the truth. When the salad wasn’t fresh, Tammy let the administration know about it. When I asked her why there were only white residents at Harbor Place she said that it was because minorities take better care of their loved ones. Tammy is no taller than five feet. She rarely stands because her back is so bad. If she lies down in bed, she will die. Her glasses are magnifying devices. Her hearing aids are power cords. The veins in her hands pop out. She is skinny and frail. Her eyes seem non-existent.

But very quickly, I saw past the wheelchai and raspy voice. I started to notice the colorful shirts and strange gagets in her room. Her thoughts on Larry King. Her husband, 10 years now gone. The assisted living facility needed Tammy. And in a lot of ways, maybe Tammy needed assisted living. Physically she had very little left but her mind was brilliant. And this bit of independence gave her the ability to help all of her 300 roommates. So naturally, when I, the stranger, moved in, Tammy knew it was her job to break the ice. We all went to have dinner. It was about 4PM…

January 03, 2008

Called over 30 places


People always ask us how many different phone calls we had to make until a facility said that they would let the three of us in. It was at least 20. But it wasn't the cameras that wouldn't let us in but instead the fact that I was only 19 years old. Rules said 65 and older---that's it. We ended up going to HP where they understand what our film was all about. They wanted to showcase the beauty of aging, and the incredible residents that lived at their facility.

What to watch in the next couple of weeks?

http://www.catholic.org/ae/tv/review.php?id=26331

January 02, 2008

Check it out...!

Hope everyone is doing well and getting back to work. I am still in my editing hole working on Bobby V movie.

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/andrewjenks/index.html