Bioethics Blogs

Nine to Ninety – Dying with Dignity and Grace

Nine To Ninety (also here) is the love story of Phyllis and Joe Sabatini, who at age 89 and 90 live in the home of their daughter and son-in-law, where they relish time with their young granddaughter Jacqueline.  

Every morning after taking a long list of medications, Phyllis does her calisthenics and goes on a long walk around the Palm Desert neighborhood where she lives with her husband, daughter, and granddaughter. “Grandmom” may only be 4’ 7,’’ but she still stands tall as the head of a close-knit Italian American family struggling to come to terms with the declining health of its aging parents.

Phyllis is facing her last chapter with courage and determination, but her 90-year-old husband Joe seems to have given up; he’s detached and prefers to sleep most of the day. Phyllis loves her family. She especially relishes the time she spends with her granddaughter, Jacqueline. But she sees how much strain taking care of her and Joe is putting on their family.

As she watches her daughter struggle to care for everyone from nine to 90, Phyllis makes a radical decision to move into assisted living. Phyllis Sabatini realizes that leaving home is difficult at any age, but she learns that sometimes, the best way to say “I love you” is to say “goodbye.”

[embedded content]

Nine To Ninety Trailer from VERACITY PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.