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Alzheimers In the Media

ScottOnTheSpot

Registered User
May 1, 2006
10
Greetings all!

My name's Scott Lewis, and I'm a third-year Journalism student at the University of Sunderland.

I also have a grandmother who suffers from severe Alzheimers disease, so I have natrual interest in the subject.

What I wish to ask here is:

How do you all think the media represents Alzheimers disease and those affected by it? Fairly? Unfairly? Patronisingly? By this I mean all aspects of the media- Coronation Street to Panorama. Does the media present it fairly? Have you seen a particular good or bad representation of Alzheimer's disease in a film or TV series? Anything along these lines would be much appreciated.

I would be very interested to hear people's views on this matter, along with any websites or shows/episodes you think are particularly relevant. Please feel free to say anything you like ^^!

Thanks very much for taking the time to have a read of this :) I really appreciate it.

Regards,

Scott Lewis
 
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Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Scott
How do you all think the media represents Alzheimers disease and those affected by it?
My view is that the media never represents Alzheimer's or the other dementias in a way that reflects the reality. One part of me says "how can they? Dementia is almost by definition a very long term thing" Another part says " they should at least try"

But how interested would anyone not directly affected be?

Media as in the Press - lousy coverage. The Daily Mail has almost daily reports on specious items they pick up, knowing the interest - and hope - that will generate.

How to say in one paragraph "how interested....." and in the next "knowing the interest.." - sounds crazy, doesn't it? It comes down to people wanting to think there are things they can do to avoid the thing they may fear most, hence they read rubbish in papers. Yet they don't want to know the reality of the disease as it may happen to them.

The programme that has impressed me most was "Dad" [I think that was the name], with Richard Briers.

Good luck
 

susieb

Registered User
Apr 16, 2006
26
ScottOnTheSpot said:
How do you all think the media represents Alzheimers disease and those affected by it? Fairly? Unfairly? Patronisingly? By this I mean all aspects of the media- Coronation Street to Panorama. Does the media present it fairly?
I think that the media paints a dim picture - and creates fear without creating insight. So everyone knows that AD is just dreadful and its just awful to have a relative with AD, but that's it - there's little understanding of the impact this has on your life, as a close relative.

Its the grinding continuity of it over years that people don't understand - like the collegue who asked after I accompanied my relative to a medical appointment 'are they better now?'
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
It is a subject that can never be covered fully or fairly by the media.

One of our members on TP has the tag line:

When you have seen one person with dementia, you have seen one person with dementia.That says it all
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
I agree with all that has said before.
I had some personal experience in a TV presentation about carers,I felt that gave a fair representation.
I understand that it also drew a great deal of interest from the viewing public
Norman
 

Dearth

Registered User
May 27, 2005
468
48
Wigan
www.freewebs.com
One thing I wonder - now the "Mike Baldwin" story has ended... does that mean that Dementia is no longer 'in vogue' and therefore we'll see very little again in the media?

Not me being flippant - I really do think it's what's perceived as being 'fashionable' at the time.

Positive or negative representation - if it's there, at least a reaction can be got - but when no-one talks about it...

N.
 

ScottOnTheSpot

Registered User
May 1, 2006
10
Thanks for your comments and thoughts.

Did you feel Jonny Brigg's portrayal of Mike after his diagnosis was believable? As a non-watcher of Coronation Street, I only became aware of the storyline AFTER his death, when I was researching this essay.

Thank you for reminding me about Dad, with Richard Briers. I'd forgotten all about that show. Can anyone think of any other shows that have featured Alzheimers as a theme?

Also, did anyone watch the Panorama special a few weeks back? If so, what were your reactions to the way the care homes and carers were presented? And Norman, do you know the name of the programme you participated in so I can try and track it down?

Thanks again for all your earlier comments- they've been very, very useful :D

Scott
 

Jodie Lucas

Registered User
Dec 3, 2005
57
Eastbourne
Hi Scott,

I am a final year podiatry student and did my research on podiatry students attitudes to dementia, i have also worked with people with dementia for past 3 years. Did you catch the programme me and my mum with tony robinson? Was on last month that was quite good and v.moving. saw bits of corrie storyline- thought the storyline was crammed in a bit and could have gone further on its nature and impact and the slow decline associated with it.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Jodie
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
The Tony Robinson programme was the best I have seen, come to think of it!

The Coronation Street characterisation was stylised and it could have been a Tarentino production. There were glints of reality, but that's all. And that is probably as much as we can expect.
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
'Stairlift to Heaven' was another interesting programme (documentary).

I think anyone who has day to day knowledge of other conditions will say that these diseases aren't presented correctly in the media. I don't think it's just dementia. Soaps are always looking for a dramatic storyline and I don't think they would sustain a storyline of someone with any serious condition for a lengthy period. After all, how many soap characters are in wheelchairs, or blind, deaf etc? There have been some wheelchair bound characters in the past but I can't think of any at the moment.
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Hi ScottOn The spot
The name of the programme was BBC 1 Midlands Today with Emma North.
I think it was filmed on the 4th November 05 and shown shortly after that
Norman
 

Jodie Lucas

Registered User
Dec 3, 2005
57
Eastbourne
"me and my mum"

There was also a discussion programme about it that was on afterwards on the Community Channel. Only watched a bit of it though. It was called the ageing debate and discussed some of the issues raised in the programme and was on 27th March. They are repeating the debate on 5th May at 7am if this is of any use to you.

Jodie
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
noelphobic said:
After all, how many soap characters are in wheelchairs, or blind, deaf etc? There have been some wheelchair bound characters in the past but I can't think of any at the moment.
Not quite 'soaps' per se but the only recent wheelchair bound TV characters which spring to my mind are those featured in 'Phoenix Nights' (Peter Kay) and 'Little Britain' (Walliams & Lucas).

What story does that tell??????
 

jan.

Registered User
Apr 19, 2006
405
Cheshire, UK.
BBC1 T.V. Tuesday 9-5-06 10-30pm

Programme called "One Life," About a woman with early onset A.D. I think it`s on for an hour and may prove to be very beneficial to a lot of people?

Jan. X
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847

Dearth

Registered User
May 27, 2005
468
48
Wigan
www.freewebs.com
jan. said:
Programme called "One Life," About a woman with early onset A.D. I think it`s on for an hour and may prove to be very beneficial to a lot of people?

Jan. X
Many thanks for that - I'll be watching, just wrote it on the calendar so I won't forget.

Ta muchly.

:)

N.