Tony Robinson on TV - his Mum


Registered User
May 20, 2003
Go to

to see details of new series on old age on Channel 4

Final confirmed timing for showing this programme about dementia & care of older people.

Tony Robinson's Me and My Mum
Channel 4, 27 March 9pm

In Me and My Mum, Tony Robinson takes an intensely personal look at the plight of Britain's elderly in a film about his 89-year old mum, Phyllis, who suffers from dementia and lives in a care home. she died on the last day of filming.

"I'm angry at the way old people are treated in this country," says Tony. "I feel frustrated that no one ever talks about it, and maybe I'm guilty because I am as much to blame as everyone else." In the film Tony also talks to care professionals, organisations representing the elderly and politicians about the possible solutions.


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
Just had a look at the link and had to smile at this

Activities, however, may be extra – for instance, charges for day trips, swimming lessons, visits to the pub.

The day trips, even visits to the pub I can understand but how many people in homes have swimming lessons!


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
some may need swimming lessons - there have been a couple of residents at Jan's home who sneak into all the bathrooms and turn on the taps, causing floods before the staff notice.

I am not sure if they are trying to hit back at 'the system'...


Registered User
May 20, 2003
More on swimming

Heres an extract from previous link (this happened several years ago)

........."For the first time in five years, Joan has experienced real pleasure. Staff at the Cornish nursing home where she lives have seen her smile and try to communicate. Fellow patients who have become aggressive as the disease advances are now reported calm and content within hours of their weekly, hour-long swimming sessions. The number of assaults on care staff has fallen, and patients with a history of disturbed nights are getting a restful night's sleep.

The potential of swimming was discovered by Penny Smith, a registered mental health nurse specialising in the treatment of elderly people, and has won her a new award for dementia care - a £5,000 research grant from the Queen's Nursing Institute and the Alzheimer's Society. The idea began as a pure leisure activity for elderly people with mental health problems, but is now arousing interest among Alzheimer's specialists searching for treatments to alleviate the condition..........."


Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
I watched this programme last night and have to say that, even though I thought I knew what to expect, I found it very distressing & depressing.

That's not to say it wasn't a well made programme - it was - but it raised many of the questions & difficulties which we all discuss here and then highlighted the fact that NO-ONE in any position of power or authority seems to be even interested in looking for any better solutions, or considering that what is being provided now is less than ideal.

We know we cannot turn the clock back for Dementia sufferers but there ARE meds. which will hold back the rapid deterioration of memory function, and therefore allow them to have a reasonable quality of life for longer (independent life, in their own homes) before institutional care becomes necessary.

However, if N.I.C.E. get their way these meds. (costing £2 or £3 per day) will be withheld by the NHS until AFTER dementia sufferers have deteriorated past the stage of independent living, therefore effectively prolonging the later 'in care' stage of the disease. Living 'in care' costs a great deal more than £2 or 3 per day, so where is the logic in that?! Even considered in terms of cold finance, none that I can agree with. And who of us here wouldn't gladly pay that small daily sum (less than the price of a pack of cigarettes, or a couple of gallons of petrol) whilst the drug was effective?

Yes, Lynne's on her soapbox - sorry, but this one's not going down without a fight.