Like so many people, when I look at the options facing me in my old age there is a level of apprehension. Within my own family there have been difficult choices to make when it comes to accommodation and care of elderly relatives.
So, it has been a welcome relief to collaborate with the wonderful BCOP (Broadening Choices for Older People), eight years after I was first invited to make a short film for them. BCOP are a charitable organisation, providing exceptional care and accommodation to people over the age of 50. Accommodation ranges from small houses and apartments for people able to live independently, right through to nursing care for people in the later stages of dementia. Their care homes offer a ‘Sensory Experience’, including pet farms, ‘Sensory Streets’ with sweet shops and tearooms and a huge range of tailored activities and outings for residents. And innovation isn’t just about homes and care – the newly refurbished Anita Stone Court offers a Shared Ownership model, the first of its kind, which allows residents to gradually release equity from their homes to cover care costs as needs change.
2016 marks BCOP’s 70th Anniversary, so we kickstarted the year with a film documenting some of the many aspects of the Charity’s work. Once again I teamed up with Sam and James at Iconic Productions to produce something which not only looks really impressive, it also tells the story of the organisation from the perspective of those who know it best – its family of residents, their families and the staff. It was screened at a celebratory meal for staff and supporters in January and it was humbling to see lots of smiles, nods of recognition and thumbs up as the film was playing.
There will be plenty more to come over the rest of the year as Sam, James and I continue to document the next stage in BCOP’s journey to create broader choices for people in their later years.