UPDATE: Wyoming PBS documentary Homes on the Range: The New Pioneers will air TWO times tonight at 8 p.m. and then again at 9:30 p.m.
“After a historic world premiere at the WYO Theater in Sheridan on Friday night, when elders crossed the “red carpet” and “felt important”, Wyoming PBS is going to give this important film two broadcasts tonight, not just one,” said director Dale Bell. “In National Caregivers Month, we can celebrate our elders, and the community of Sheridan that is helping to reshape our attitudes toward caregiving, our elders and our frail.”
Next week I’m heading to Memphis to film the annual Green House Project conference.
For the past five years ChangingAging has partnered to livestream broadcast the Green House meeting. Unfortunately, the hotel charge for broadband Internet has become so excessive it’s just not feasible this year.
But don’t worry! Instead, we are recording select sessions and will upload them to YouTube immediately after the conference, so stay tuned.
Besides the conference there’s big Green House news coming out of Wyoming. A one-in-a-million documentary premiers next week documenting the amazing 10-year journey of the citizens of Sheridan, Wyo., to build the first and only grassroots Green House skilled nursing home in the country.
I got to preview Homes on the Range: The New Pioneers last week and I’ve never seen a film like this. Documentary filmmaker Dale Bell, a producer of the Academy Award-winning movie, WOODSTOCK in 1970, captured on film the entire 10-year process showing a community coming together and building from scratch a radical alternative to care for their frailest elders. The Sheridan Green House was built by citizens, through pure grit and determination, without the benefit of an established nursing home or nonprofit organization to back it up.
The obstacles they had to overcome and the path they pioneered for others is truly inspirational. If you read Dr. Bill Thomas’ treatise on The Green House Project in his book “What Are Old People For?” you’ll see that he envisioned a future where communities would be empowered to build Green Houses at the grassroots level. Sheridan proved that it is possible. Dr. Bill Thomas’ exhortations, from 2001 to 2007, are laced throughout as he defines his credo one concept at a time. This film is a tribute to Dr. Bill’s work in National Caregivers Month, where he first appeared nationally on PBS in AND THOU SHALT HONOR, produced by Bell and Harry Wiland, in 2002.
It wasn’t easy. And given the economic collapse of 2008 it shouldn’t have been possible at all. But now that Sheridan has paved the way the door is wide open for other communities to follow.
If you want to know how they did it, watch Homes on the Range. It premieres in Sheridan as a theatrical documentary at the historic WYO Theater November 21 and statewide on Wyoming PBS at 9p.m. on November 25.
If you don’t live in Wyoming please contact your PBS station and ask them when they will program Homes on the Range in your state. You can also contact Dale directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a DVD copy of the 90-minute theatrical version of the film.