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BBC News broadcasts on alzheimers-INSENSITIVE (complaint sent)

overwhelmed1

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
74
Chester
Thought people on here may be interested in a complaint I sent to BBC news after my father (who has alzheimers) was subjected to a man on the news discussing how his wife ended up just a heart-everything else died and he was left with a shell:


BBC News complaint section:

Complaint Summary: Insensitivity of news broadcasts on Alzheimers

Full Complaint: Imagine getting a diagnosis of Alzheimers at the age of 65 and then having to go through the next period of semi-awareness (years) listening to news broadcasts about the horrors of the disease. That is what you subject my father to on the news. I totally understand you are trying to raise awareness of this horrific disease but is it not grossly insensitive to not post a warning up before the broadcasts/news stories are broadcast? So that the carer can switch over? Just because people are elderly who generally get the disease, that doesn't mean they don't feel horrified by what they see. My father is affected by these broadcasts. A simple warning would be a sensitive way to deal with this. Elderly people are no different to any other age group.

I would be interested to know what the Alzheimers think of this viewpoint and what people with relatives think.

x
 

sammyseal

Registered User
Jul 12, 2015
7
Well done for complaining. I too wrote to them saying that perhaps that extremely emotive part of the report was unnecessary to convey the actual news they were covering. I spotted it and texted my Dad so he could ensure that my Mum didn't see it...
 

overwhelmed1

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
74
Chester
Complain if poss

If anybody else wants to complain it is easy to do-just log on to the BBC News website and find the complaint tab at the bottom then follow the steps. This, to me, happens because of a general ignorance about how aware alzheimers sufferers are for a lot of the illness. As we know, they don't just go off into lala land, as a lot of people out there seem to think. They are extremely distressed by what is happening to them. My dad has been aware of every step and is mortified by it all.
x
 

overwhelmed1

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
74
Chester
Well done for complaining. I too wrote to them saying that perhaps that extremely emotive part of the report was unnecessary to convey the actual news they were covering. I spotted it and texted my Dad so he could ensure that my Mum didn't see it...
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I agree with you also, they shouldn't exploit the emotive part of it all in order to retain viewers. It's such a sensitive issue, they don't seem to have any appreciation of this fact.
 

MrsPuff

Registered User
Aug 23, 2015
5
I understand that it's upsetting for those of us 'in the know', but I do think more needs to be done to make those with no experience of dementia realise that it's a bit more than just getting old and a bit forgetful - and that unfortunately means giving the full, unvarnished truth about what dementia does to its 'sufferers'. Agree they should probably give 'trigger warnings' though, the same as they might for reporting other traumatic events.
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
The hard truth is that if every person who could be affected by the news had to receive a warning before broadcast, there would be no time for news.

Sorry but I think you're being over-sensitive and unrealistic.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Yes, I agree. The idea of a warning is fair enough but what we don't want is for them to stop showing the truth about the full spectrum of AD experiences and not just the usual people who seem to be at a pretty early stage and are able to explain their problems very coherently.
 

MrsPuff

Registered User
Aug 23, 2015
5
It doesn't upset me too much, but I can see that it would be distressing for someone in the early stages of dementia, vulnerable as they are, like seeing a gun pointed at your head. We've had to stop my mum watching the news altogether as she gets so upset and fixated on the really horrible stories like shootings or child abuse - but barely a peep about the good stuff (not that there's much of that these days, but you get my point), and I think she would really obsess over what's to happen to her if she saw a news report about someone much more advanced in dementia than she is.
We already have warnings to protect those who are sensitive to stories involving violence, so why do we treat all dementia patients as though they already lack any understanding or empathy? Yes, we can't protect everyone, but surely it's the most vulnerable we should be looking to protect in the first place?
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
But who decides who is the most vulnerable?

Lots of our population are vulnerable, whether through illness, disabilities, colour, religion...if the person you care for is sensitive to such exposure, then they should be protected from that exposure.

Not by censorship or nanny-state warnings...after all, it is already a filtered, rose-tinted version we see on the BBC, but by the off button.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
We had a discussion here a while back when the AZ society ran their TV awareness ads, some felt they were too "tame" and should have been much harder hitting.
At the time I said they hard hitting might offend and put people off, this I think is what's happened here with the BBC.
In all fairness the BBC let someone explain how AZ had affected them so this guy said something that I personally agree with AZ leaves you with a shell of your partner/parent or whatever, quite accurate description.
I'm sure things said about other diseases like cancer could be upsetting for some one who has it but that's discussed quite openly and in a way that if I had cancer I might find hard to take.
A "possibly distressing warning" might have helped though.
K
 

Chaucer 1931

Registered User
Mar 30, 2014
226
I agree with Garnuft,the off button usually does the trick,or there are a multitude of channels to choose from these days.
No offence,but knowledge is power,the more insight we have into any item on the news has got to be a bonus in the 21st century..


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

velocity

Registered User
Feb 18, 2013
175
North Notts
Correct information in my opinion is very helpful, too many shy away from all types of Mental Health Issues, unfortunately life can be very cruel as we know. All types of Terminal illnesses are very cruel. xx
 

overwhelmed1

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
74
Chester
The hard truth is that if every person who could be affected by the news had to receive a warning before broadcast, there would be no time for news.

Sorry but I think you're being over-sensitive and unrealistic.
OK, maybe. I'll let everyone know if the BBC agree with you when they respond.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,450
Cornwall
The hard truth is that if every person who could be affected by the news had to receive a warning before broadcast, there would be no time for news.

Sorry but I think you're being over-sensitive and unrealistic.
Well I agree with garnuft and we haven’t got to watch we can turn over or turn off
I have Alzheimer’s & Frontal-temporal-dementia for 16 years it makes no difference to me it’s not going to make me better or worse although I think the BBC should show more people with dementia carrying on living a full active life despite having the illness
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
Well I agree with garnuft and we haven’t got to watch we can turn over or turn off
I have Alzheimer’s & Frontal-temporal-dementia for 16 years it makes no difference to me it’s not going to make me better or worse although I think the BBC should show more people with dementia carrying on living a full active life despite having the illness
Curiously though Tony it's not people like you (and the many others on here in your situation) that ever seem to get any attention, it's a credit to you and many others here that you just get on with life. I won't mention any names but there are so many on here who are such an inspiration. Maybe being positive is the solution not Aricept.
K
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Hear, hear Tony.

I think both things are necessary: showing both parts of the reality.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Maybe being positive is the solution not Aricept.
K
I think the fact that dementia affects everyone differently is the truth. I realise that this was an off the cuff remark, but I also think that to propose that "being positive", even in jest, is unfortunate.
 

overwhelmed1

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
74
Chester
BBC reply so far.....

Reference CAS-3444309-ZXRKL8



Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC News on 21 August.



I understand that you were unhappy that no warning was given regarding the nature of the report on Alzheimers.



We appreciate that you were unhappy with this report as you believe it could have been upsetting for some viewers. BBC News is always aware of the need to report with sensitivity, whilst also maintaining our principles of accurate, factual and impartial news coverage.



I have added your feedback on the issue to an overnight report which is sent to senior management and the BBC News team daily.



These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future programmes.



Thanks once again for contacting us with your concerns.



Kind regards



Nicola Egerton

BBC Complaints
 

overwhelmed1

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
74
Chester
Well I agree with garnuft and we haven’t got to watch we can turn over or turn off
I have Alzheimer’s & Frontal-temporal-dementia for 16 years it makes no difference to me it’s not going to make me better or worse although I think the BBC should show more people with dementia carrying on living a full active life despite having the illness
Yes I agree re: showing positive case studies etc.