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Films On Going : Staying Put or Moving On | Big Bill Tilden
Staying Put or Moving On: a series of short films & other information about where and how we'll live as we grow older
The Staying Put or Moving On website contains a series of short films and other information which seek to find answers to questions facing the oldest and largest population bulge in human history.
    It considers these fundamental questions for seniors and their families:
  • Where and how are we going to live as we grow older?
  • Should we stay in our own homes as we age or should we move on to co-housing, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living or any number of other options?
  • As we age, should we stay in our own homes or is it time to move on?
  • What are our alternatives?

From the poorest areas in the country to the richest, from staying in the family home to sharing a house with strangers, Staying Put or Moving On explores the choices, alternatives and new ideas for housing and communities designed for the largest population bulge in world history.


From the outside, a living space is just a physical structure: a couple of rooms and a garage, an apartment in a high rise, a trailer in a dusty field. It's what goes on inside that makes it a home, a place that offers more than shelter from the elements. Staying Put or Moving On

Finding a home or continuing to live in one is one of the biggest challenges our aging population and their loved ones face. Housing costs alone suck up 35% -- or more -- of our annual spending.

What is going to happen to those of us who don't have solid retirement accounts or have lost those savings to bad investments, devastating illnesses or simply bad luck?

While most of us want to live in our own homes, what if we don't have kids or can't afford caregivers?

Who will check in on us to make sure we haven't slipped on a loose rug or aren't sunk too deep in the quicksand of loneliness?

Are there alternatives to the dreaded nursing home?

Will new technologies aimed at "aging in place" alleviate the financial and social costs of an older society or isolate us further?


Staying Put or Moving On's films include people from all walks of life who share their concerns and ideas about where they will live as they age. Through their eyes we look at what works and what doesn't. The films are coupled with resources encouraging further discussion amongst the viewers so they may come away with new ideas for themselves and their loved ones -- and a little more hope for the future.

Many stories are in development, but the films we and others have created so far are at Staying Put or Moving On. Please contact us if you have stories or films you'd like to share.

Audience & Goals

The audience for Staying Put or Moving On is not only seniors and their children, but anyone who is considering housing options for themselves, their friends and families in their later years.

According to a 2017 Pew Research Center report, roughly half of adults 65+ years old own smartphones. More than 67% go online (compared to 14% in 2000.) Fully 82% of 65-to 69 year olds are internet users. (These statistics drop considerably for low income seniors.)

The jump in online video viewing comes as adults in that age group have cut back the time they spend in front of television screens by six minutes, to 6 hours and 12 minutes a day.

Many in this audience are not only primed for a program like Staying Put or Moving On, they will help it grow and their feedback eventually will lead to more stories. With 56% of US online users ages 65+ using Facebook, that will encourage dialogue between those with questions and those with ideas or suggestions for solutions.

Films Finished to Date

Senior Co-Housing: Growing Old Together
American architects Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant were inspired by cohousing communities they observed while studying in Denmark. While a few cohousing communities already existed in the US, they expanded the concept and soon the idea spread across the country. There are now 165 multi-generational and senior co-housing communities in 25 states with an additional 140 in development. We visited three senior cohousing communities to learn more.
HOME RUN: The St. Paul’s Seniors and the South Bend Cubs
Like many Continuing Care Retirement Communities, St. Paul’s senior living community in South Bend, Indiana, offers a wellness lifestyle and an array of living options. Most importantly, they want their residents to continue to make the most of life and new friendships. In April 2016, the St. Paul’s senior living community took an imaginative and groundbreaking step to meet these objectives that no CCRC had ever done before. They invited two minor league pitchers from the South Bend Cubs to live with them during the baseball season. It was a win-win for all.
Multi-Generational Living: It seemed nuts at the time…
One solution that allows a certain degree of autonomy is the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), a new term for the old idea of “grannie flat” or “in-law unit”. It is a separate unit complete with sleeping/living area, bathroom and a small kitchen that is built next to or near the family home. It allows the senior to continue to live independently, knowing the support of family is close by.
Staying Independent after Giving Up the Car Keys
Giving up the car keys is one of the most difficult decisions a senior makes. The loss of independence can be devastating. But causing an accident because of diminished abilities is even worse. More than ever before, there are alternatives to help one retain the freedom of mobility. Public transit, taxis, and transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft all help us get around. But community transportation networks and volunteer driver programs are growing throughout the country. They not only help us get to where we want to go but provide companionship along the way.
Charlotte’s Home: Strawberry Creek Lodge
With the belief that everyone deserves a home, Strawberry Creek Lodge was built on the concept of independent living for low-income seniors in 1960. It continues to thrive with the support of SAHA (Satellite Affordable Housing Associates) and a vibrant and active tenants’ association.
From Just the Two of Us to 340
Before Joanne and her husband moved to the Redwoods, the two of them lived very independent lives. Now they share their "dining room and living room" with 340 other seniors at the multi-level retirement community, The Redwoods.
Voices from the Village to Village Network
Each year, the Village to Village Network holds a national conference. A few years ago, the Stay Put or Move On team joined them and shot this film about why they think the Village movement matters.
Staying Put – Marin Villages
Marin Villages is unique in the Village movement. It is an alliance of local villages in Marin County, California, with one central office. Some call it the “hub and spoke” model.
Rural Villages: Community Connections
Community Connections, a Village in rural Plumas County, shares its mission with all the Villages: neighbors helping neighbors. There’s one big difference. In rural Plumas County, help can be miles away. Volunteers with Community Connections provide that help through a unique time banking program. Here, members exchange services with each other and earn time credits. One hour of service earns one-time credit — all services are equal. Money is not exchanged. This is astory about how an older woman can stay in her home with the help of volunteers and time banking in rural Northern California.
Deciding to Stay or Move
Many of us feel we are ten years younger than we actually are. Dr. Andrew Scharlach talks about the pros and cons to that, especially when determining where we should live as we grow older.
Insights & Ideas – Penny: Hoarding Love
In order to respect each other’s privacy, neighbors often have cordial but not close relationships. But what to do when one neighbor sees the other neighbor’s mail piling up? When is it time to get involved?
We need to talk: Elder Mediation
Deciding where elders should live can be a gut-wreching experience for them and their families. Too many wait until a time of crisis to have “the talk”. Providing a neutral ear, Elder Mediators help families communicate their deepest concerns so they may work together toward successful resolutions.

Key Personnel (in progress)

Producer / Director / Writer : Kristi Denton Cohen

Kristi is an award-winning filmmaker with more than 25 years experience in documentary and narrative filmmaking. She most recently produced the narrative feature film, The River Why, based on the acclaimed novel of the same name. Starring Zach Gilford, Amber Heard, Kathleen Quinlan, Dallas Roberts, William Devane and William Hurt, it won "Jury Award for Best Feature Film", TriMedia Film Festival, 2011; "Best Narrative Feature Film" and "Best Actor - Zach Gilford", Alaska International Film Awards, 2010; "Best Cinematography", Ashland Independent Film Festival, 2010; and the "Audience Award", Naples International Film Festival, 2010. Following film festival screenings and benefit screenings for river and fish conservation groups around the country, it can be seen on cable, television and internet venues around the world, including Netflix, Showtime and Starz premium cable as well as on demand on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Blockbuster.

Kristi produced, directed and co-wrote the documentary, Vertical Frontier about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite. Narrated by Tom Brokaw, it won "Best Film on Climbing" at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2002 and at the Kendall Mountain Film Festival in 2003. It won "First Prize" in the Mountaineering Category at the International Mountaineering Film Festival at Teplice and Metuji, Czech Republic in 2004. It also won the "Viewer’s Choice" prize at the International Festival of Outdoor Films 2004 (Czech Republic) and "Best Cameramen" at the Tbilisi International Mountain Films Festival 2006 (Georgia). It continues a long run on the NBC Universal Sports Channel. It screened to sold-out audiences at numerous international film festivals including Mill Valley, Denver, Seattle, St. Louis, Annapolis, Trento (where it was the only American film accepted), and Telluride Mountainfilm among others.

She also produced and directed Funding Peace (about the Ploughshares Fund) which screened at the Slamdunk Film Festival and featured Michael Douglas and Nancy Pelosi; and Climb for Life (about ovarian cancer), narrated by Vicki Mabrey.

The winner of numerous awards for her corporate and non-profit films, her clients include McKinsey & Company, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Levi Strauss.

Kristi has served on the boards of directors of Rebuilding Together and Bread & Roses. She has also served on the Steering Committee of Mill Valley Village, a branch of Marin Villages, which helps seniors remain in their homes for as long as they chose. She has a B.A. from Denver University and an M.A. in Broadcast Arts from San Francisco State University. She lives with her husband in Mill Valley, CA.

Co-Writer : Alison Owings

Alison co-wrote the award-winning documentary Vertical Frontier with Kristi Denton Cohen. Her work with ABC, CBS and NBC includes television news writing for Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Ed Bradley, Bob Schieffer and Morton Dean. She was also a writer on "Sunday Morning" with Charles Kuralt.

Alison Owings is the author of three stereotype-challenging oral-history based books, her latest being Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans, a survey of what a wide variety of Native people have to say about contemporary life, and say with passion and humor. A starred review in Publishers Weekly says her interviews "achieve a remarkable level of intimacy," and that "this engrossing, affecting book should be mandatory reading in American History classes."

The work for which Alison is best known, a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year," is Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich. Her book Hey, Waitress! The USA from the Other Side of the Tray, is comprised of profiles of American waitresses across the country, from high ends to low ends, from Chez Panisse to the Great American Waffle House. Her op-ed pieces and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. Alison is listed in Who’s Who in America 2000+.

Co-Producer : Kelley Busby
Kelley is a long-time film and television producer, with more than 20 years writing, reporting and producing experience. She has produced for all the major networks, plus PBS, HBO and ESPN. Most recently, she helped produce the award winning documentary  "Leave Them Laughing," directed by Academy Award winner John Zaritsky. Kelley also helped produce "The Power of Intuition," hosted by Roy Scheider, and "The 25th Anniversary of the Battle of the Sexes," hosted by Billie Jean King., airing on PBS and ESPN respectively.
Director of Photography : Tim Metzger

Tim has been a cinematographer, editor and filmmaker, for over 30 years. He has spent the last ten years shooting high definition television projects that have aired on PBS-TV, History Channel, National Geographic, and BBC-television.

As a cinematographer and editor he has work on over a 100 films. His clients include: PBS Frontline, POV and Bill Moyers and Company and German ZDF-TV. He has also shot segments for CBS 60 Minutes, Fox, ABC-Oprah, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

His corporate clients include, Chevron, Apple Computers, CalRecycle, BART, Kaiser Hospitals, UCSF Medical Center, and Charles Schwab. He has work for many winery videos including: Lambert Bridge, Emeritus, Robert Mondavi, Sonoma Cutrer, and Clos du Bois. Tim owns HD television cameras, as well as lenses, lighting equipment and a state of art high definition editing studio. He lives in Glen Ellen, CA.

Editor : Susan Utell

Susan’s work encompasses documentaries, commercials, broadcast and corporate films. She is fluent in both Avid and Final Cut Pro. Susan is primarily a storyteller, and is equally at ease cutting a thirty-second spot or a feature length documentary.

Susan began her career at One Pass Film & Video in San Francisco. There she worked with agencies including J. Water Thompson, McCann-Erickson, Foot Cone & Belding, Hal Riney & Associates, Goodby Silverstein, and Goldberg Moser O'Neill.

In documentaries, Susan has edited projects for National Geographic, Smithsonian, PBS, Disney, Travel, Discovery and the History Channel, as well as several independent documentaries on subjects ranging from health issues to the environment. For the Merce Cunningham Foundation, she edited dance performances that are part of the permanent archives at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Susan has edited commercials and marketing films for many Fortune 500 companies including Apple, Adobe, Visa and Sony. She edited the award-winning infomercial "Personal Power II" starring Tony Robbins. More recently, Susan has edited projects for Lucasfilm, Organic, and Young & Rubicam.

Story Development : Toni Weingarten

Toni has worked as Senior Story Editor for the PBS-TV affiliate in Seattle (KCTS) where she oversaw the development of many projects to be presented for production funding with not only PBS, but also with HBO, Lifetime, The History Channel, Discovery, and other venues.  She developed, wrote and co-produced The Rhona Disaster, a one-hour documentary chronicling a long-forgotten incident in WWII.  This program aired on PBS and on The History Channel.

Advisory Board The following have expressed their support of this film by agreeing to be Advisors on it:

Jenny Chin Hansen : CEO, American Geriatrics Society
Jennie Chin Hansen was the president of AARP (American Association of Retired People) for the 2008-2010 biennium and currently is CEO of the American Geriatrics Society. She also teaches nursing at San Francisco State University, where she is a Senior Fellow at the university’s Center for the Health Professions. Previously, she was Executive Director of On Lok, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., which became the model for PACE. Hansen serves as a commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and is also a board member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco.
Project Advisor: Interview, Content Advisor
Judy Willet: National Director, Village to Village Network
Judith G. Willett is the founding Director of Beacon Hill Village, a pioneering and nationally renowned "aging in community" option that helps elders stay in their homes. She is currently the National Director of the "Village to Village Network" that services communities that are creating their own Villages all over the country. She has an MA from Boston University’s School of Social Work in Administration and Planning, and a BS from the University of Michigan. 
Project Advisor: Content advisor, Interview, Rough cut advisor
Larry Meredith, Ph.D. : Director of Health and Human Services, Marin County, California
Larry Meredith is Director of Marin’s Department of Health and Human Services the County’s largest Department with 650 employees and a budget of $150 million. Prior to joining Marin County in 2001, he was Deputy Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, where he worked for 30 years. Dr. Meredith has a special commitment to and passion for population-based, upstream prevention approaches to minimize downstream harms and health care costs. He completed his MS and PhD. in clinical psychology at Pennsylvania State University and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Brocton VA Hospital.
Project Advisor: Interview, Content advisor
Clara Berridge : Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare
Clara Berridge is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare who has been studying social gerontology for the past ten years. She received her MSW from the University of Washington where she created independent studies in order to get hands-on experience in cooperative housing development for older adults. Berridge’s current research examines the decision making and ethical aspects of the use of passive sensor-based monitoring technology installed in older adults’ apartments to support independent living.
Project Advisor – Content advisor, Interview, Rough cut review
All material © 2024   Peloton Productions. All rights reserved. Kristi Denton Cohen
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Mill Valley, CA 94941