School of Medicine

Psychiatry

Portrait of a Caregiver

All attendees of the Caregiver Conference will be treated to a special performance of Portrait of a Caregiver, an “ethnodrama,” using the documented conversations of real family caregivers as the script for this powerful one-act play. The conversations were recorded in a series of caregiver support groups with the permission of the participants. Support groups provide a space for family caregivers to discuss many facets of the their life experience: frustration, exhaustion, loss of personal identity, humor and heartbreak. This performance allows the real words and feelings of family members who care for elder relatives to be shared with the audience in an authentic way.

Portrait of a Caregiver is a joint project with the Utah Caregiver Support Program, the University of Utah College, of Nursing and the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative. The collaboration of playwright, Jacqueline Eaton, RN, PhD, of the College of Nursing and Nancy Madsen, DHS, of the Utah Caregiver Support Program brings the performing arts, the needs of unpaid family caregivers, and aging individuals in long term care to focus on the actual conversations and feelings to a wider audience.