Documentary on 4 about Picks Disease

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Lavender45, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. gringo

    gringo Registered User

    Feb 1, 2012
    1,189
    UK.
    Well, yes ok it did get dementia on air, but it left me dissatisfied. I didn’t understand what the set-up was. How much personal care was needed and who provided it? The only ‘hands-on’ care the sons were seen to provide was a half-hearted attempt to trim the Father’s beard.
    It seemed to me they were asking for our sympathy because they had to sit there while their father swore at them. There are many on here for whom that would be a walk in the park.
    The very real problems of living with dementia were simply not addressed. Instead of the usual portrayal of dementia being lovable old folk with mild memory problems, now it's lovable old folk swearing at you.
     
  2. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    I could see that Colin had been a very hard person to live with before dementia and that his sons had coped by keeping him at arms length. Swearing seems to have been Colin's coping mechanism which just got worse as his illness kicked in. It sounds as if their mother had hidden just how bad he was from the sons. I would also question is there was a underlying mental health issue before the dementia.

    David became very quiet when he said that his dad had had a UTI which had changed him. He seemed wary that this had changed the swearing, inappropriate Dad to one that they could talk to and take out and enjoy time with. It must have been such a change to be able to have the relationship he would probably have wanted all his life.

    The most poignant moment was when he said he wished his Dad would tell him to "get lost" which is what he would always say when David said goodbye to him. He realised that his Dad had probably permanently changed and at a loss of how to feel about it.

    My Mum used to constantly tell me off and when she stopped it was so strange that I wanted it back again to restore "normal".
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,402
    Kent
    I was very unhappy with the attitude of the two sons. However coarse their dad had been pre dementia, it was no excuse to exploit his worsening behaviour. It seemed their father had a carer with him most of the time. I wonder what the carer thought about the behaviour of the two sons.

    In addition they talked at him, they seemed to encourage his swearing and seemed almost disappointed when he gave a non aggressive response.

    The other family who were featured seemed to show much more respect and love for their husband and father , whose behaviour must have driven them up the wall at times even though it was less aggressive.

    The daughter whose mother didn't seem to know her was also attentive.
     
  4. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
    820
    I haven't watched this yet but would like to make an observation.Every time I have a programme about dementia airs it upsets someone.I include myself in that.The problem is I can't think of how a programme could be made that didn't cause upset to someone.Dementia is an upsetting and worrying subject after all.Would we prefer to keep dementia off the TV altogether?Or how could they be done better?
     
  5. Jasmine123

    Jasmine123 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2014
    40
    #25 Jasmine123, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
    I thought the show was great. I agree, from what we could see the sons weren't very hands on carers but this show wasn't a factual documentary on the process of caring. It was just one family's particular experience of dementia. David did say about the daughter who lived with her father with picks disease that he was amazed by that woman and would really struggle to do that himself.

    I don't think him and his brother were rude or disrespectful, they were just communicating with their father the only way they were able to. The last thing my mother ever said to me, wasn't so much a sentence but a string of mumblings which ended with 'pity about you' and an evil cackle. She was mocking me about something, though I have no idea what, and that cheered me no end as made me think that my mother was still there in some capacity and was still herself.

    So personally I can really see where they were coming from when they were trying to get their father to respond to them in some way and they way they did this was by insulting each other.

    As I said, this is just one family's experience of dementia.
     
  6. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,458
    Female
    England

    My thoughts too. He was a feisty man, including before dementia and the three sons were happy to interact with their Dad and take the insults as they always had. The banter between them made them all smile, including Dad.

    You could feel their sadness when their Dad took a downturn and lost that bite.
     
  7. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    I thought it was an excellent programme. It didn't shy away from the fact that dementia makes people - in one way or another - difficult to be around.

    It made me wonder what I'd do- what could I do? - if my elderly father in law, who has dementia, started referring to his daughters as 'shagbags'.

    All three brothers were doing their best to see their father, to maintain a relationship with him and to ensure that his needs were being met.

    I suppose the only issue for me was whether David Baddiel's father had the capacity to consent to being filmed. But then he came across as somebody who - even in his earlier life - had been quite uncompromising and abrasive. Perhaps his interest in science meant that he would have welcomed a programme that increased understanding of dementia.
     
  8. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,223
    That occurred to me too, Mrs Moose. Especially in the context of David Baddiel's anecdote before an audience about his father's alleged comment at a funeral. But it did illustrate the abandonment of social norms that dementia can sometimes bring.

    I found the interractions of the sons were at times uncomfortable, but then they weren't the paid carers who should/would have known better, eg than to keep reminding their father of his wife's death.

    We've all had to ponder that one through here on TP and have benefitted from mutual advice about that very issue.

    Also I didn't like the way they seemed to yearn for their father to appreciate the drive in the Rolls Royce on his birthday as to me it seemed as if they were blaming him for being ungrateful rather than realising Colin's limitations and going with them.

    So yes, I wouldn't be employing the Baddiel boys myself as carers of any of my relatives, but I think they were struggling to maintain a semblance of normality and relating to their father as they had always done.

    At least they cared, turned up, even from overseas, paid their father some attention, thought about and highlighted some important concerns. Some families wash their hands. The Baddiel family were doing their best,I felt, in their way, to get to grips with a pretty devastating situation.
     
  9. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    517
    Scotland
    I had mixed feelings about this programme as I felt the sons wanted their dad to be as outrageous as possible (for the camera?) Clearly dad would not be easy to care for but with an employed care worker in place they, as a family, are not coping with the stress, etc. 24/7.

    What I really could not accept was DB using his father's condition as comedy material. People go to his show to be entertained, to be amused, so they were ready to laugh at his jokes - as the camera showed the audience they did laugh heartily - EXCEPT FOR ONE PERSON who looked shocked/horrified!
     
  10. carrieboo

    carrieboo Registered User

    Feb 1, 2016
    110
    herts uk
    The consent issue is interesting. Of course Colin Baddeil couldn't give informed consent, his family made that decision.

    But if we always require consent then there would be no programmes that included children, people with mental illness, learning difficulties or advanced illness. People in comas or vegetative states. Surely it's important for society to be informed, to shine a light?

    I have tickets to see David Baddiel's show, will be interesting to witness first hand in its entirety and not just a few clips out of context.
     
  11. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    I found myself wanting to see the show too.

    I can see why some people would think, 'Oh I'd hate Mum (or Dad) to be exposed on stage, for the entertainment of others.'

    Or they might think, 'Well the Baddiel sons aren't caring for their Dad like I care for my parent. They're paying someone to do the work.'

    But writers do tend to mine their own experiences for material.

    However, I'd imagine that at least some of the money which David Baddiel makes from this show is, in part, being used to keep his father living at home in comfortable, familiar surroundings with a stable team of trusted carers.

    So not only does the show benefit others (in terms of helping them to understand more about dementia) - it indirectly helps the person with the condition.
     
  12. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    I've just watched the programme and thought it was well-made and highlighted some lesser known forms of dementia.

    As some of you know, I go to watch a lot of comedians and am aware that they aren't all in 'good taste' and some deliberately try to shock. Sometimes people laugh out of surprise or shock and I certainly wasn't laughing because I found his dad's comment funny, I laughed at the shock and awfulness of the situation. You've been framed elicits a similar response - it's not a "oh, isn't that funny", it's an "oh that must have been awful."

    I felt David's show was not about making fun of his dad, it was about how life and the dynamics of the relationship had changed due to dementia. It was obvious to me that all the sons loved him and the insults were part of the package.

    I identified with the aspects of him wanting to see the bits of his dad back, even if it was the insults and swearing. My OH watched too but he wouldn't normally watch anything similar. I hope that means that Baddiel is raising awareness to more than, say, the usual 24h in A&E programme audience.
     

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