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Alzheimer's documentary!


Registered User
Mar 21, 2007

I am a third year Journalism student at Leeds University and part of my course is to write up the plans for a half hour documentary. I have chosen living with dementia/ Alzheimer's as my subject choice, as it is one close to my heart. Both my grandparents suffer - My Nan now needs 24/7 care and is unable to talk, walk and no longer recognises us her family.

I plan to use my own personal experiences in the documentary but would also like to interview (either via phone or email) other people effected such as; carers, family members and even individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia.

I want ot look at how people are effected as I don't think people realise how difficult and frustrating the condition can be. I would also like to look at how people go about their daily lives and how dementia effects it emotionally, physically and to look at other aspects such as cost.

If anyone would be willing to help me - either by letting me interview you or by offering information or places I could look I would be really very grateful.

Interviews - will be over the phone or via email, in which i will ask/ write a series of questions for you to answer.

** Note: this documentary is not going to be filmed as it is purely a written piece of work, and is for my degree only. I will include names and contact details in my written work and a copy of the interviews. **

Also, if anyone has any idea's on what to include into the documentary I would really like to hear them. What would you like to be seen and included in a documentary on dementia and Alzheimer's?

Thankyou for taking the time to read through this and I really hope you can help me in some way. Being someone who has experienced the topic first hand I know it can be a sensitive subject so any help will be warmly received.

Kind Regards

Sally Taylor


Registered User
May 14, 2006
Dear Sally,
At the moment, I am trying to write a novel based on my Mum's experiences with vascular dementia and its effects on her life in a nursing home, after breaking her hip. I would willingly answer any questions in a questionaire to help you, on this forum or by PM. I would not want to disclose my e-mail address or phone number, and I would not want to do anything which might reveal my Mum's identity.
I think the most important thing you could focus on in a documentary programme, would be the lack of awareness about dementia in the hospital environment. Patients need to be treated as individuals and always spoken to by name. Walls should be painted in different colours, other than white to help people with poor vision avoid becoming disorientated.
Hospitals wards should be much "cosier" and more homely for the elderly and there should be unrestricted visiting during the daytime, so that relatives can help at mealtimes to avoid weight loss. More physiotherapy should also be available and specially trained carers for the frail elderly, so their needs are adequately catered for.
We nearly lost my Mum in hospital and yet she is now doing very well in the nursing home, because they are looking after her properly.
Good luck with your project! I've written nearly 11,000 words now for my novel.
Best wishes


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Sally

hmm... daunting task, but these things need to be done.

we've literally just downed the phone following an interview and always the worry is "what did I say?" "will it come out right?"

As you have suggested in your post about email, I reckon you'd be better off making that list of questions and sending it to people who have agreed to be 'interviewed'. By their nature, people on TP have PCs and could reply as part of a Word document, with you being able to follow up later on.

I've been a bit overexposed on this front recently, so am probably not the best person to respond, at least until the newspaper piece is published.

Good luck

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Sally,

I would like to wish you luck with your documentary, Living with Alzheimers/Dementia.

The more good publicity we can get, the better understanding it will promote.

However, I would find it extremely difficult to be interviewed person to person, as I know I would be unable to control my emotions. I shouldn`t be surprised if the same could be said for quite a lot of people, both Carers and Sufferers.

Would you consider putting your questionnaire on TP? It would give us an opportunity to see the questions you want to ask, and time to decide whether or not we would be able to take part.

Questions could be answered, either on the public forum, in this section [Researchers, Students and Professionals], or via PMs.

I wish you luck.
Emotions and petition

"However, I would find it extremely difficult to be interviewed person to person, as I know I would be unable to control my emotions. "

I agree Sylvia - it is very difficult for me not to get angry. I noticed recently a petition available to us on the 10 Downing Street web site and it would be good if as many experts, carers and relatives as possible sign it http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Continuing-Care/

Good luck too with your endeavours



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hello Sally

Last year I recorded a half-hour interview for BBC Radio Scotland on the subject of living with dementia. It was part of a series entitled The Journey.

I prepared a draft script prior to the interview, and it was roughly followed, though the interviewer skipped about a bit to make it more 'conversational'. I have it on CD, and I also have the draft script. I'm not sure if you could use the CD because of copyright issues, but I could email you the script as it was mine.


Registered User
Mar 21, 2007
Thankyou all so much for the response....

Your thoughts and views have helped me already so thankyou.

Some of you have suggested I post my questions on here - so would that be ok? I'll take a few days to compile some questions and then I'll post them on here and if you could respond I would be very grateful.

Identities do not have to be disclosed. Like I said the documentary is not actually being filmed as it is a written exercise, I would just need to know a little about you, the person I am interviewing and then have your answers to the questions I pose - which i would quote from in my piece.

If you have any worries please PM me e-mail address removed by moderator Brucie. Not recommended to post e-mail addresses - recommend PM route instead]

Thankyou all once again and I'll get back to you shortly with some questions.

Last edited by a moderator:


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Sally
Some of you have suggested I post my questions on here - so would that be ok?
yes , that will be fine.

If any members feel they want to reply, but wish to do so off the public threads, they could contact you via PM to find out how to get the questions back to you.


Registered User
Sep 26, 2005
Hi Sally,

Have you tried the student forum at Leeds Uni ? I know they offer an open learning package for dementia studies so I'm presuming they have a department of health studies. It might be worth investigating a link there for other contacts. It might result in more face to face contact.

It might be worth choosing whose viewpoint you'd like to explore, the person with dementia, family and friends or formal carers (and you could break this into those with a training/qualification and those without). A half hour programme is a tight format for getting information across, you'll need to have a goal in mind. I could rabbit on for weeks.

I'd like to have a look at your questions. My hubby has early problems and I also work with people with dementia so I see it from two viewpoints. The hardest thing I find is those people who have just had a diagnosis (either for themself or a loved one) and their only knowledge is the "horror stories" that abound. In this situation ignorance is terrifying and any programme that dispels that is worthwhile. From a professional point of view there are a lot of us trying to do our best, admittedly not always succeeding, but truely with care uppermost in our minds. In the past 50 years the picture has changed dramatically but unfortunately Jo Public doesn't know that. I, personally, would appreciate a programme looking at inspirational care but I am well aware that its not available everywhere and there are plenty of people that would just like A RESPONSE to their requests for help.

Best wishes.



Registered User
Mar 21, 2007
Alzheimer's questions...

I have compiled a few questions for my documentary that I would like people who are carer's and/ or relatives of individuals who suffer from the condition to answer, the questions are attatched in a word document.

I would be very grateful if as many of you could answer the questions in as much detail as possible and send the answers back to me via PM.

The answers will be used only for my documentary and thus only viewed by myself and lecturer and then an external examiner.

If you feel I am missing any important points in my questions please contact me.

Thankyou all so much for the response you have already given me.

I look forward to hearing your answers!

Sally! :)



Registered User
Jan 24, 2008
I hope you emquiries get further than just that. I would also like you to include the genetic factor my mother died from alzheimers and I am faced with the prospect that I'm at risk. Having seem what it does it concerns me every time I forget. It is something that worries friends also who have had parents who have been ill. Do we too face this illness in a world which pays little attention to mental health needs. Did you know that when assessed for care by local authorities older people are judged on their physical need, so if like a lot of people with early dementia, you are physically active you are regarded a low priority, even if you forget to change your clothes, wash, eat, put pastic kettles of gas hobs or wander. This is a time bomb and it will not be until a street is blown up and the body count of people who wander is large enough for the media to make a story out of it the people with realise the danger both the people suffering dementia and the public are in.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Dear schorfield

Welcome to TP. Fully understand your concerns, being a carer for someone under 65.

It may help to get immediate replies if you addres specific concerns to the main forum..

Tis only as you settle down within the forum, that you realise just where most support will come from.

We are all here to help.