1. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Did anyone watch this programme last night on Channel 4? I did and found it very thought provoking, in some ways much more so than the Tony Robinson documentary. Is it just because there was no one famous involved that it hasn't had the same level of interest?

    I alternated between feeling sorry for the father, sorry for the son, wanting to shake the daughter in law .....

    Surely, I can't be the only one who watched it?!!!
  2. ElaineMaul

    ElaineMaul Registered User

    Jan 29, 2005
    I haven't yet watched it ..... I recorded it as I wanted to watch the programme on the other side about death made by Esther Rantzen; will probably watch it over the next few days I guess.
    That's the amazing thing about the telly just recently ...... nothing worth watching and then they all come along at the same time!

    Esther's programme was quite thought provoking as well. Nevertheless, I was left feeling two things:
    1. I know I'd like to get more involved in trying to change things ..... or at least influence change .... and how do you do this?
    2. The way things seem to be at the moment ....... I find myself contemplating the comment made by the care home manager in the Tony Robinson film. She seemed to be running a very caring home and yet when she was asked how she'd like to be cared for when she gets old, she said, almost as a throw-away comment 'I have the tablets ready'.......

    Umm ......

  3. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    #3 noelphobic, Apr 1, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2006
    Hi Elaine

    When my dad died in November 2004 my mum went into respite care, luckily in a home she'd been in recently. I was in Dublin the day he died, the first year I'd ever been away for my birthday and he died that day - that's a whole other story!

    I remember one of the staff at that home saying that she'd long ago given her husband instructions to 'finsh her off' when she was 65, no doubt because of things she'd seen! She did add that she was a lot younger when she gave him that instruction so was now revising the age upwards!

    I would have taped the Esther Rantzen programme if I could but my video and tv aren't talking to each other so I couldn't. I did think to myself how weird it was that I was agnosing between watching a programme about Alzheimers and one about death! My other 'pet' subject is diabetes, as my 17 year old son was diagnosed with it 22 months ago. It's being so cheerful that keeps me going lol!:)

    I feel as you do about wanting to change things or, at the very least, help in some way. The firm I have worked for for the last 16 years is offering voluntary redundancy and I am considering a career change possibly into social work or something similar. However, it is a huge step to take and as my son will be going to university himself this year I'm not sure. At the very least I would like at some point to get involved in some kind of voluntary work.

    The last few years have made me realise how under valued the elderly are in this society and what a raw deal some of them get. I also think that the older and the more frail and vulnerable they become then the worse they are treated.

    I think you will find the programme interesting. I hope they repeat Esther's some time as I would like to watch it. I did check on whether it was available on 'Teleport' but unfortunately not. One of these days I must get Sky Plus.
  4. ElaineMaul

    ElaineMaul Registered User

    Jan 29, 2005
    Yes ..... I too was struck by the dilemma of what to watch and how morbid the choice seemed to be!

    I can only begin to imagine what you felt to have been away when your Dad died.

    Re your career change ........ a difficult one! I'm inclined to say 'go for it' as you only live once! However, I've always wondered whether campaigning for change is better done from outside the system? I don't know! Perhaps within the system, you can make a big difference to the people you directly come into contact with ..... but changing the 'big picture' might be difficult if you're not in a management position?

    I hate with a passion how a lot of people treat older people. My Nan was as bright as a button and only a little hard of hearing towards the end of her life (she was 93 when she died) ...... and yet, so many people would talk to her in that sing-song voice that seems to be reserved usually for young children. The same attitude was given to my m-in-law when discussing my f-in-laws care (he had dementia towards the end of his life) ....... the social workers were SO condescending to her (she was then in her mid 70s) ......... until she caught them out with clever logic at one point ......... I could have punched the air with a 'YES' that she'd got one over them!!! I really don't know why people do this! All I can say is, if I get to my older years with my intellect reasonably intact, I am going to be one hell of a cantankerous so-and-so!!! :)

    Does anyone know how the Alzheimer's society makes use of volunteers? Because of work, I can only 'do things' in the evenings or weekends ........ but do they make use of people to organise things? Or is it only done via the local branches?
  5. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    I watched Stairlift to Heaven and felt the same, the daughter in law seems to have little empathy with her mother or her father-in-law, but, of course, we only had the edited highlights.

    Having always had a lovely relationship with both my parents it made me realise how blessed I am to only have Mum's AD to come to terms with, it must be awful to deal with that and have the hang-ups that come with having to care for a parent who you have never been close to.

    As for the fellow resident who had come "face to face with the Germans" he was downright rude, what a bully. When the father politely left, he seemed thrilled to have upset him.

  6. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    Yes, I watched it. Mixed feelings about it I guess. Interesting to watch someone going through something very similar to what I've been going through ..... dad recently gone into nursing home. I can't help wondering about the people who choose to display their lives in this way though. The son at the beginning said that the father wouldn't notice that the cameras were there ..... almost as though he was too out of it to be aware. I was struck by how much more able his dad seemed than mine is ...... whilst I've been going through agonies wondering if I've given in too easily by getting him into a home. I liked the honesty about the rather ambivalent relationship before the father's illness. Too often I think it's just assumed that we've had wonderful relationships with the parents who are now ill and going into care.
  7. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    I tbought his father seemed extremely coherent and it was stated that there was a question mark over whether he would be funded to go into a home as he was a border line case. The home he went to looked like a nursing home and I wondered why he would be there rather than in a care home. I found the scene near the end where his son and daughter in law were trying to bully him into staying in the home extremely distressing.

    It would be interesting to know what the current situation was with him.
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    No I never saw it, had sky on and watch, Kill Bill Volume 2
  9. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Yes, saw it - and am still 'internalising'. Very powerful! I think it provoked my little outbursts here later that night - although not directly relevant to the programme!

    Noelphobic, like you, I found it far more powerful than the Tony Robinson doc., and , not sure if I was meant to be sorry for one or the other - but in my case, 'warming' to them both for whatever reasons.....

    It certainly gripped me straight away when son was 'telling off' dad for ordering too many meals.... I found myself screaming at the TV: 'How dare you talk to him like that?' If you're letting him fend for himself, don't get cross if he gets it wrong!' (Well, that's the polite way of putting it!:) )

    (Day after, I find myself telling mum, 'now, if you lose this, I will be REALLY cross' and realised I was speaking to her in almost exactly the same tone:eek: )

    Loads and loads of 'stuff' came out of for me but I have to say 'defining moment' was Lily (have I got her name right? - 'love of his life') being asked what would she wish for him. When she regained enough composure to reply with honesty 'for him to go to sleep and not wake up', it broke my heart.

    Perhaps the difference between Tony Robinson's programme and this was that Tony, Phyllis and his family were all so likeable (apart from TR being a celeb). In Stairlift to Heaven we were challenged with people who - by their own direct or indirect admission -had been (how can I put this nicely?) 'selfish' and 'difficult'.

    This makes me think again about the 'power' of the Coronation Street storyline. I know it's contentious in some ways, but imagine they wrote the script for someone 'sweet', like Emily Bishop? It just wouldn't have had the impact that it has done because it has happened to Mike Baldwin - the 'Jack-the-lad', the 'wise-guy'.
  10. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    My dad actually died on a Saturday morning on my birthday when I was on my way to Dublin. I found out what had happened as I was leaving the hotel on the Monday morning! Our flight was not until the evening and my son and I had planned to leave our luggage at the hotel and spend the day looking around the shops. I would have already been at the shops when I got the call if it hadn't been for the fact that one of the suitcases had broke and we'd had to go out looking for a new one!

    The hotel gave us a room free of charge until we left to catch our flight. I did phone and try to arrange an earlier one but it was more messing around than it was worth. We did end up going around the shops for a little while simply because we were going stir crazy in the hotel room and needed to get out. Also, my son has diabetes and had to eat, although neither of us felt like it.

    My dad died the way he would have wanted to, in his own home. He was 91 but it was a shock as it was so sudden and obviously being away made things difficult.

    I share your doubts about whether I could make enough of a difference if I became a social worker. I could imagine that I would get very frustrated by 'the system'.

    I must say that in all the trials and tribulations of the last few years with my parents, and to a lesser extent with my son's diabetes, there have been many times when it would have been useful to be able to say 'I'm a social worker, nurse, doctor, journalist' etc! Working for a bank just doesn't have the same clout!

    I would think that if you get in touch with your local Alzheimers branch then they would be able to advise you of what kind of help they need from volunteers.
  11. ElaineMaul

    ElaineMaul Registered User

    Jan 29, 2005
    Hi Nada,
    I've just sent you a message!
    I've just watched the programme and I have mixed feelings about it really. Like many others, I was shocked at the way the father was shouted at ...... and the bullying at the end when they were trying to make up his mind was not nice at all.
    However, whilst I'm not in any way condoning the son's behaviour..... what we saw was a frail, vulnerable old man ........ but his son appeared to be carrying a lot of 'baggage' from the way the father had treated him. ...... and was 'seeing' that previous person.
    I guess everyone on here ........ just by being here ..... has a lot of love for the person they know that has got this truely terrible disease and is searching for ways to make things as good as they can ....... and try to deal with the anger felt at times ....... and lots of times I've read on here how momentary glimpses of the old person makes their day ....... and keeps you doing what you're doing! However, the father didn't appear to have brought his son up with any warmth or love ...... the son had been afraid of him ..... and, dare I say it, the father was reaping what he'd sown! And he'd successfully ensured that the son was the image of his father!
    This doesn't make it right! No way!
    However, it just emphasised for me how the love other people feel for their loved ones (by 'other people', read everyone here for starters) produces quite heroic caring .......... and I just wish the powers that be would recognise the value of this caring by giving more tangible support to the carers.
    Hope this makes sense!!!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.