Coronation Street. Paul, Eileen, Lesley and Alzheimers.

Update on how Coronation Street are dealing with the subject of Leslie and Alzheimer’s disease.

Leslie and Alzheimers in Coronation Street
Love struck – Eileen and fireman Paul
Coronation Street part 3 involving Leslie and Alzheimer's
Part 3 Leslie and Alzheimer’s Coronation Street

 

We have followed the storyline on Alzheimer’s that Coronation Street introduced into the show ever since we were tipped off back in July 20011 but how is Britain’s number 1 soap doing with on the  sensitive subject of Alzheimer’s disease.

We catch up since our last post on Coronation Street with Leslie and Alzheimer’s storyline. With fireman Paul Kershaw, Tony Hirst in real life, being quite a regular on the show. His wife (who has the Alzheimer’s disease in the show ) Lesley, Judy Holt in real life, has also been playing a part in the show but not as much as her frustrated husband Paul.

With love struck Eileen stuck in the middle and vowing to “stand by her man” no matter how hard it gets for Paul. Much to the disgust of her son Jason.

In the some of the latest episodes involving Leslie and Alzheimer’s in Coronation Street we see that it does get difficult for Eileen.
First we see Paul and Leslie sat on the couch at Eileen’s house with Lesley asking Paul if they can go home. Eileen brings Leslie an orange juice and a confused Leslie says she doesn’t want the drink, “but it’s what you asked for” says Paul. Again Lesley asks Paul if they can go home, “shortly” says Paul. “Where am I,” questions Lesley, “Oh! is that for me” Leslie says to a baffled Eileen  still holding the orange juice.
Paul then follows Eileen into the kitchen and says to Eileen “as you can see, it’s a bit full on. I need to get help with care”

In the episode shown involving Leslie and Alzheimer’s I think the scenes that were acted out were done very well. They highlighted the confusion and the on off memory loss that a person with early onset dementia can suffer from. It also highlighted the difficulty a carer will face when looking after somebody with Alzheimer’s and how people see and react when seeing somebody that is showing the symptom’s of Alzheimer’s disease.

The latest storyline in Coronation Street involving Leslie and Alzheimer’s

With the latest scenes in Coronation street we have a storyline involving Paul having nobody to look after his wife Lesley, so he turns to love interest Eileen. When Paul brings a confused Lesley into the Grimshaw’s home, an angry Jason says to his mum  “Your not qualified”, “She only needs supervising” answers Paul.
After repeated “I’m sorry for this Eileen and thank you” Paul leaves Leslie with Eileen promising to be back as soon as he can.
All starts well, with Lesley chatting away to Marcus sat on the sofa in the Grimshaw’s living room but when Marcus has to leave for work we get a quick glimpse of Lesley’s face, which is showing the frustration and confusion in Leslie’s mind.
The confusion in Leslie begins with her asking Eileen “when will Paul be back” whilst sat at the table eating dinner. A confused and distant Leslie then turns and picks up the TV remote control, begins flicking from channel to channel and then turns the TV volume up to full. Eileen tries to take the remote from Leslie’s hand, who responds with a very angry and threatening “DON’T”

We later return with a confused and agitated Lesley pacing up and down the Grimshaw’s living room asking Eileen “when am I going home, I want to go home”
The mood soon turns to anger after a short, vivid and civil conversation with Eileen about her wedding day. “I’m married to Paul you see” announces Lesley. “I know, were friends,  say Eileen. I’m Paul’s friend” says Eileen. “I don’t know you, you’re not my friend” announces an angry Lesley, to the shocked and worried Eileen. Leslie then tries to leave the house in panic when Eileen tries to restrain Lesley by grabbing her arms.
A shouting and screaming Lesley then breaks away from Eileen’s grip and shouting with confusion grabs an ornament from the sideboard and throws it into the television set, smashing the screen.

The next scene begins with a confused and tearful Lesley sat on the floor asking for her husband. “Why am I here and who are you” Leslie asks Eileen through a tearful face. “I’m somebody who wants to help” Eileen reassuringly replies as she cuddled Paul’s wife.

Paul returns to Eileen’s house a short while later and spots the smashed TV and  a now calm Lesley. “It came out of nowhere, I never saw it coming” Eileen tells Paul, “yeah, sometimes you see it coming, other times you don’t, ” replies Paul.

What we think

We think ITV are showing great empathy towards the subject of Leslie and Alzheimer’s and bringing the disease much-needed coverage on the subject and the issues that it raises, like how to care for a person with dementia, how to deal with somebody with the brain disease and spotting the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The controversy with the story line that Coronation Street are using seems to be whether you agree or not with the way the storyline is developing with regards to the romance between Paul and Eileen.

Paul is a married man who is married to a lady who has Alzheimer’s disease. It is a subject that brings into the mainstream whether it is morally right for a married person to begin a new relationship on the grounds that the person they married is not the same person once they have developed Alzheimer’s. So it’s not classed as having an affair or cheating on your loved one if the person now has Alzheimer’s.

You decide if it is right or not to start a new relationship if you are living with or still married to a loved one that is suffering from the dreadful disease that is Alzheimer’s.

Give us your views below.

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2 comments

  1. While I accept that for the most part the show Coronation street who have dealt with alzheimers twice now, have done a good job so far, showing the mood swings, the decline of the sufferer, the farce or the care system and its failure, the struggle for the spouse, and the present and absent minds of sufferers, I do think that Coronation street went too far.

    First of all it is not morally right to have an affair with anyone even if your partner is in decline. You marry someone and promise for better for worse, in sickness and in health. If you cannot cope then you find some help and day care or full time care; you do not push them on to all of your friends and onto the person that you decide to have an affair with. In the love triangle Paul, Leslie, Irene, no-one is really able to have any relationship as they are all living in the one house and the house also has three loggers and a son living in it. Irene has become more of a full time carer and now Paul has found that he cannot cope with the mood swings.

    However, the story line meant to show that the care services have failed both sufferer and spouse as well as carer, sent out the wrong message. Alzheimers patients are not dangerous and having Leslie wander off with a child is ridiculous. The remarks in tonight’s episode are insulting. Tracy who is a complete idiot and a vile person shouts that Leslie is a loon, that she should be under lock and key, that she will make sure that she is forced off the street into an institution that social services are called, and by that she means child protective services, suggesting that Leslie has some how harmed Amy or would have assaulted her. Paul is confronted by Tracy who will not allow Amy to hold Leslie’s hand and calls her a lunatic. She demands that she is put away in an institution and this I find totally offensive. It suggests that people with alzheimers are a danger to children and need to be locked up, or are mentally ill. This is a load of rubbish!

    My father has had this disease for about 5-7 years, but it got worse in the last six months and he passed away from a heart problem recently, but he was not a danger to anyone. He had regular care and he had day care and help at night. He was getting too much for my mum to cope with but that is because she is 84 and frail herself, not because he is in need of being locked up as the programme suggested. He was not a danger to children and he did not wander off with strangers. It is not a mental health problem and this episode gives the wrong message. More care needs to be in place, but that was because the husband Paul did not ask for it, and had professional help been there then he could cope better. Yes Leslie was in decline, as was my father, but she was distressed that no-one knew how to help her. A trained carer would be able to cope.

    I do not believe that Paul is justified in having an affair, although a friendship is fine as he needs a life of his own, but he was using poor Irene more as a carer than as a lover.

  2. I had expected Corrie to handle certain parts of this story better to be honest and am not at all happy about the manner in which they are ending the story line. Yes, it shows that we have difficulties dealing with relatives with dementia and A but it also has Lesley come home from the care where she is safe to face the horror of not being able to cope again and the love triangle going on to the end that Lesley knows that she is being pushed out. Her death at the end of the week was unexpected, but I am not sure that it was needed, as her being in care was a more realistic outcome. I am also unhappy about yet another dramatic death of someone with dementia without an apparent cause, as you cannot die from A, but from neglect and other ill health the same as everyone else.

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