Thursday 8pm – 9pm, BBC1
If you missed the first part to this documentary you need to use TVMucho to watch it, it is a tear-jerking and thought provoking exploration of a debilitating disease that destroys people’s lives and their families. In the UK it is estimated there are over 850000 people suffering with dementia, this is forecast to be over 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051. Many of us will know someone affected – 1 in 6 over 80’s suffer and a shocking 70% of people living in a care home will suffer from it or severe memory problems. The programme brings home the effect on people, 82 year old Betty tells us “I keep forgetting I’ve got dementia” and 50 year old Julie says “It’s like a part of my brain has gone on holiday and left the rest here…and gradually more of my brain will go and join them on the beach”. You can’t help but sympathise and feel for them as they accept their lives are being eroded from them by this cruel degenerative condition. This second part of the documentary witnesses the performance, as well as the challenges the singers and band members face in day to day life living with the disease.
If you didn’t see the first episode you will have missed the announcement Vicky McClure made to her dementia choir singers and band, she told them they will be performing at Nottingham’s 2500 people capacity Royal Concert Hall. The singers gasped, whistled and conveyed genuine disbelief at the exciting prospect.
While many participating are in the early stages, Vicky visits a care home to witness how effective personalised music therapy has been on people who have much more advanced stages of the disease, it is clearly evident that it reduces restlessness and anxiety. Seeing this treatment it leaves you wondering why this resource is not made available around the country. The final performance by the choir is both moving and uplifting, the emotion fills the room and it will be hard for you not to be moved.
Vicky drives the passion in the programme, well known as an actress in This is England and Line of Duty she uses her fame to support the research into the disease at University College London and the University of Nottingham. Her own personal experience of watching her nana, Iris, decline after diagnosis of the disease is clear to see in her passion and raw emotion.
A truly moving, humbling and impassioned programme.
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