Listed below are 11 movies that represent aspects of the care industry. Where some focus on the caregiver, others focus on the patients. From our favourites movies about dementia to movies about disabilities. The movies in our list may not all be realistic, but they each do a great job in representing their aspects of the care industry.
1. The Theory of Everything (2014)
Caring for a disabled adult.
After Cambridge University student Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He begins to isolate himself. But literature student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) falls in love with him and decides to marry him when she finds out Stephen only has two years to live. Jane eventually delays her own goals to become a full-time caregiver for Stephen.
Felicity Jones’ role shows the emotional side of caregiving. Managing caregiver guilt, stress and exhaustion can be difficult. But it’s important for caregivers to replenish before taking care of others.
2. The Intouchables (2011)
Caring for a quadriplegia patient.
A comedic look as an unusual friendship develops when a street smart immigrant is hired to take care of a disabled French nobleman. An absolute feel-good movie, it’ll warm up your heart without any intention.
The subject is hard but the movie is really funny. In a few seconds you are fully projected within the film from the beginning to the end. If you are sceptical of a French movie, don’t be for this one… it is a must see movie.
3. Elizabeth is Missing (2019)
Following the life of a dementia patient.
A woman with Alzheimer’s grows suspicious when her best friend fails to turn up to meet her. Soon, the flashes of her sister, who disappeared 70 years ago, reel her into an unofficial investigation.
An interesting take, on the immensely difficult subject of Dementia. Glenda Jackson, gives a sympathetic and enigmatic performance as an old lady. Struggling with the present and the past.
4. Beginners (2010)
Caring for a cancer patient.
This movie is a father-son story about an elderly man, who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. His son (Ewan McGregor) finds himself supporting his father even though they had not been close in the past. The movie shows the difficulties in caring for an elderly parent when the relationship is strained. A situation many real-life caregivers find themselves in.
5. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Caring for an adult with mental illness.
Pat Solitano, Jr. (Bradley Cooper) becomes admitted to a mental health facility due to his bipolar disorder. His mother decides to take her son home against medical advice and without her husband’s knowledge. The couple then face difficulties whilst dealing with their son’s mental illness. Until a girl, who is also battling a mental illness, showed up in Pat’s life.
Though not completely realistic, the movie offers a glimpse into the challenges caregivers face when caring for adults with mental health issues. It also addresses that having a strategy and a support system are both beneficial in helping patients with mental illness.
6. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
Caring for a stroke patient.
This film drama is a real-life account of Jean-Dominique Bauby and his indomitable spirit after a massive stroke left him paralyzed with locked-in syndrome. Unable to speak, the former French “Elle” magazine editor-in-chief composes his book: “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. He does so with the painstaking aid of his speech and language therapist reading a list of letters and Bauby blinking his left eyelid to spell out words.
The biographical movie illustrates how Bauby’s children, his girlfriend/mother of his children and his former wife all come together to undergird him through his unthinkable hardship. It shows that caregiving does take a village.
7. Still Alice (2014)
Caring for a family member with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
When linguistics professor Alice Howland starts to forget her beloved words, her world quickly spins with the harsh reality: early-onset Alzheimer’s. An adaptation of Lisa Genova’s acclaimed 2007 novel. The movie transparently represents Alice’s battle to hide her neurological disease.
Julianne Moore’s award-winning performance in the movie demonstrates the cognitive decline Alzheimer’s patients experience. And the challenges family caregivers must tackle on a daily basis.
8. The Descendants (2011)
Caring for an end of life patient.
The Descendants is a story about a man raising his teenage daughters after his wife is in a boating accident that leaves her in a coma. The movie deals with some of the end-of-life issues that caregivers sometimes find themselves involved in. It also looks at the emotional responses a husband and children have towards their mother’s accident. And shows that there is often more problems in how people deal with a crisis, than just the situation itself.
9. The Upside (2017)
Caring for a quadriplegia patient.
A take on “The Intouchables” with a relationship between a wealthy man with quadriplegia and an unemployed man with a criminal record who’s hired to help care for him.
Unlike the other movies on this list, The Upside doesn’t go as deep into care. It is also unrealistic compared to the other movies listed due to the circumstances portrayed. However, it’s humour and wholesome moments does well to represent the relationship between a carer and patient.
10. Crip Camp (2020)
Documentary on the fight for the accessibility legislation.
This documentary starts in 1971 at Camp Jened, a summer camp in New York described as a “loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities”. The film focuses on those campers who turned themselves into activists for the disability rights movement and follows their fight for accessibility legislation.
A beautifully edited collection of convicting memories, capturing a completely forgotten piece of cultural history. And illuminating the immense effect this one, relatively small, group of people had on American history. It’s packed full with the kindness of humanity
11. I Am Me (2015)
Caring for a young adult with Autism and other learning disabilities.
Tells the story of 24 year old Charlie. A young man with a learning disability and autism. The story begins as Charlie is moving into his own flat. With Charlie’s mum being ill and struggling with his care, Charlie’s older brother is keen that he takes steps towards living a more independent life.
A hard hitting and emotional film that explores many complex issues surrounding the effects of disability hate crime. The movie is magnificent in getting the message and awareness across in the wider circle and public eye.
Are there any movies about disabilities that we’ve missed? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook and let us know what you think of the movies listed above! We’d love to hear your thoughts.