Coronation Street

Hannah

Registered User
Jan 28, 2005
3
The Archers

Hello everyone - especially fans of The Archers!

Thought you might be interested to know that there are various discussions taking place on the BBC website for The Archers about Jack and Peggy Woolley. Over recent months Jack has started having problems with his memory, so much so, that in last night's episode the couple went to see their GP and he's now been refered to a memory clinic.

Attached below is the link for The Archers website, if you scroll through the discussion list you'll see that there are a number of different strands where you can join the debate. The main ones appears to be Memory Clinic and Jack.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/h2/h2.cgi?x=y&board=archers.otherstorylines&sort=U&state=threads

Warm wishes

Hannah
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Barbara Pointon's Reaction

Yesterday's Cambridge Evening News had an article about the Coronation Street storyline and Barbara Pointon's comments about it.

Barbara Pointon's husband has AD and she has become quite a well-known campaigner, successfully challenging the local health authority's refusal to pay for her husband's home care.

The article can be read online here:

Cambridge Evening News article

Take care,

Sandy
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,313
66
Toronto, Canada
Regarding attention & TV, my mother quickly lost interest in TV. The final thing that held her attention would be nature shows. And nature shows of furry cuddly sorts of animals. No insects or reptiles. So I would try to find an appropriate show for her.

She was diagnosed over 4 years ago and even then no longer watched. It's really odd how individual the disease is. She could tell time for much longer than most people could.

The best line I ever heard about this disease was "When you've met one person with Alzheimer's Disease, you've met one person with Alzheimer's. Although there are similarities, there are always those individual quirks which make our loved ones ours.

It's my first time here although I've been on the Canadian site many many times. What never ceases to amaze me is the instant rapport I feel with someone when I hear them say "My mother/husband/wife etc has Alzheimer's". There is the instant understanding that we can't find elsewhere. Keeps me going to my support group (my other family I call it) and going online to these websites.

Cheers
Joanne
 

Leah

Registered User
Oct 22, 2004
31
79
Northumberland
Barbara Pointon's Reaction

Hi Sandy,
Thank you very much for giving us the link to that article; It was excellent, I only wish it had been in one of the Nationals.
Thanks again
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,630
London
Hi All,

I've long been a fan of Coronation Street so sorry to jump in so late on this thread. Indeed Mike is to be "struck" with Alzheimer's - the Mirror published an article a couple of weeks ago if anyone is interested (you can read the article by clicking here).

The article is very optimistic about the handling of the story and it says that support groups have been contacted to "to make the storyline as convincing and sensitive as possible". In my opinion any awareness about this illness should be encouraged.

I've also never been in any doubt that Coronation Street have been stealing Shakespeare's material for years - the comedy and tragedy timing is often perfect making a lot of the painful story lines easier to swallow.

Kind Regards
Craig
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,630
London
Thanks Norman and Bruce....it was great to get some exposure in the newsletter - lets hope we get more visitors to the TP Street.....
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,033
68
Dundee
What is 'Share'?

I'm afraid as soon as they begin this storyline they'll lose two viewers. Not much in the whole scheme of things I know but we could not face watching something which we know is on the cards for us. We live for the day aware that what's ahead won't be good but we don't need to see it played out in front of us.

Hey ho!

Izzy
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Well, I'm with you Izzy, though I think it depends on the individuals and on the stage we are at in the process.

When Jan was at home, and when she was in the care home for the first two years, I wouldn't watch anything on the subject of her illness. I wouldn't even talk to members of the local AS group.

It was all too raw, and I didn't want to see how it might progress. Yes, maybe it was being ostrich-like, but I guess ostriches can be expected to be like that... ;) .

I preferred to live each day with Jan - or at least seeing Jan - and we would face anything that was to come, when it came. For sure the doctors couldn't say what would happen, or on what timescale [how could they?]- that's the sort of thing that can be done retrospectively. If you try and do it beforehand you spend your life waiting for some sign of this or that, when in reality, you have a finite span left to be together in some way, and need to be able to appreciate that to the full.

So my own view is that it is best - for me - to query each new behaviour as it arises, rather than to wonder if some slight change here or there might be the precursor of some radical downward step.

These days I sometimes watch programmes on the subject because we are already pretty much in the pits and there's not much left to surprise us. I find I can put an academic hat on to watch such things; doesn't hurt so much that way.
 

Chris

Registered User
May 20, 2003
243
Thanks for the last message Bruce - you've put into words 2 things I've been vaguely aware of but not kind of formulaised in my mind.

I sometimes wonder if people think me hard hearted in the way I've immersed myself in the subject - but like you perhaps, latterly, I deal with things , at times anyway, in an academic way - almost as if the more I know the more diluted the pain or whatever might be - and also if I kept thinking about it enough maybe I'd find solutions - my head knew there werent any but my heart was yearning so much for them it overruled my head & I had to be 'doing' something to find solutions all the time.

Your description of the early years & now dealing with things as they happen is very useful too - that could be why it is often said carers dont seek outside help early enough. I remember trying so hard to keep 'normality' going for as long as possible - when you are with someone 24 hours a day you pretend everything is as it always was for their sake - but that it makes a difficult to be honest about how things really are.

Now the caring is over - I cant always watch these programmes as the guilt kicks in - especially if theres talk of giving the diagnosis , which we didnt do (thats been explored in another thread). Still have Iris to watch. Maybe I need to turn my back on this subject for a while - but find I cant let go - want to make a positive contribution and dont know anything else now !!!!!!

Often i hear carers say - "If only we had found eg a relief caring scheme or whatever sooner " - well they probably wouldnt have wanted it then anyway - its as if there is a big chasm to be crossed on the dementia journey - it takes a lot to leap over it - you cant be sure you'll make it to the other side unharmed or you may hurt others in the process - but once over & you've accepted certain things & let outsiders into the home, started talking to others about it or even started to plan for the future , then there can be pluses to that - some minuses too & maybe its not for everyone. I just know so many people who gain strenghth from meeting others in the same situation as them - I mean people with dementia as well as their carers. sorry - rambling on again !!!! Chris
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
You aren't rambling at all!

Yes, the guilt is always there, no matter how much we eventually may appreciate it is not well-founded. I just felt there must have been more I could have done, while knowing it nearly finished me off doing the amount I did for so long.

and no matter how much I advise others that there is no reason to feel guilt..... it will always be there. It is almost as if, in the absence of there being someone on whom one can dump responsibility for the illness, one's gaze falls eventually on oneself. Crazy, but then we live in a crazy world..now.
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Being on the 'outside', watching my Mum (81) care for my Dad (82) and going through all the emotions you all describe, is also hard. (Although I am fully aware that it's nothing compared to a carer suffering.)

My Dad is now in a Home and my Mum goes round every afternoon but I wonder how long she would have continued to struggle looking after him 24/7 at home if she hadn't had my sister and I to gently 'bully' her into letting go. We know she would have made (was making) herself ill eventually. Still I feel the guilt too! Is there someting else we could have done etc.

Unlike the previous posters, and although I'm not a soap fan, I will find Coronation Street compulsive viewing. Maybe it is because I am less involved, in that there is my Mum between me and my Dad, if you see what I mean. Maybe it's my form of punishment to watch it!
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,630
London
Hi Hazel,

As someone trying their best to care for a carer I too feel that incredible guilt - always wanting to do more and never feeling you've done enough. My mum is holding on in denial really, struggling day to day to keep dad away from a home for as long as possible. I'm not sure what is going to tip the scales, all I can do is be there when it all falls apart. Mum is at the stage where she won't even discuss the future, just getting on with the day to day struggle and as other people have mentioned, she avoids mixing with people in a similar situation even though their help would be invaluable. But that the pot calling the kettle black, I still have a copy of 'Dad' video'd and gathering dust.

But I digress and ramble away from the subject. The Coronation St writers need to handle this very carefully and hopefully will avoid being to flipant with the subject. Mum and I will watch it but dad can't look at the TV now, just turns his chair the other way - he'd rather look at anything than the TV which seems to disturb him in some way.

Kind Regards
Craig
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Hi Craig,

My mum is still not too happy to talk to others in the same situation, even though I believe it would be beneficial. She sometimes goes to a Carer's group meeting but often feels that if she goes she will 'only start crying', so I can understand her wanting to avoid it (and I don't nag her, by the way!)

The ostrich approach is often necessary for her own mental health I guess. The Carer's group sometimes have meals out which she does attend and has a nice time talking about other things with people in a similar situation.

It sounds as if the Coronation Street researchers have been quite thorough, but as you say, let's hope it's handled carefully - no doubt we'll all be ready to put pen to paper if not! My Dad also finds TV confusing unless it's something fairly slow and quiet like snooker - mind you, then he usually falls asleep! Bless him.

P.S. The thing that tipped the scales for my Mum was when Dad started to become aggressive towards her and wandering off.
 
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angela.robinson

Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
520
78
hi CRAIG ,what started to tip the scales for me was when aggression set in ,even then i tried to hold back the tide ,and havent fully let go yet , on the corrie subject ,i said earlier ,that i would never watch anything about AD when my husband was present which was all the time ,however i find true storys and documentries compulsive ,these had to be taped and watched,during the night ,your dad may be finding the TV disstresing now as he may beleive it is all real ,so strangers in his home,fighting and such ,wont do much for him .MY husband only wanted to watch talk shows ,or the good morning program ,he started to greet the presenters like his best freinds ,but then hated it when they intraduced other guests on the show ,we eventualy had to keep the telly off and started to play music instead.ANGELAl
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,630
London
Thanks Hazel and Angela,

So far dad has not been aggressive (thank goodness), but it is getting more difficult for him to carry out basic instructions which makes caring so much harder. This became more apparent when he was taken off aricept, but its hard to pinpoint exact changes in his behaviour. I really don't know how mum copes at this stage, I can only assume the love conquers all (well up to a point). I can imagine mum breaking down at a carers meeting as she's been bottling it up for way to long, but I guess many of us are guilt of that. I'll keep an eye out for the aggression as well as mums health which seem so be taking a bashing....

thanks again
Craig
 

Geraldine

Registered User
Oct 17, 2003
143
Nottingham
I just worry that Coronation Street will show a 'sanitised' version of what they think Alzheimer's is and how it affects those around the sufferer.

For me with Mum the turning or breaking point became the aggression, incontinence problems and no sleep. Mum lived at home with us in a large enough house with a downstairs loo but I have a husband and 11 year old son. I found late stage Alzheimers totally incompatible with family life, maybe if I had been on my own with enough support I couldjust about have managed to keep Mum at home. But with a family to look after and a job and a child in the house it was impossible. But like most people if I had started imagining what the end would be like I would not have coped for so long at the beginning. I have a very good friend who supported me all the way up until Mum's death and beyond. Her mother has now had a severe stroke and she has just started on the long road of inadequate hospital care, the sole destroying search for a care home - she said the other day that only now had she any idea of what I was going through. Thet is why TP is such a support we can all understand each others problems.

Geraldine