Coronation Street. Paul, Eileen, Lesley and Alzheimers.
Update on how Coronation Street are dealing with the subject of Leslie and Alzheimer’s disease.
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.