Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From Lover to Carer

I wonder how many of you heard the 8.10 interview on Today with John Suchet, where he recounted his experience of coping with his wife's Alzheimer's. At one point he said "I turned from lover into carer." Heartbreaking. In itself, it isn't a news story that a TV newsreader's wife has a debilitating disease, but the comfort the interview will have brought to thousands of people in similar positions throughout the country made it a worthwhile thing for the Today Programme to do. It can't have been easy for Suchet to tell the world, either. But t'is a good thing he did.

Another person who is making the transformation from lover to carer is 13 year old Alfie Patten. The trouble is, he is doing it in the full glare of the nation's media, when he, his girlfriend and their families would be better left to get on with their lives. It's good that the PCC is investigatong this case. To my mind, The Sun has acted appallingly and turned the whole sorry saga into a freak show. They might as well have put the family in a 19th century circus tent and invited us all in to have a good gawp.

PS I bring you the good news that this website will be a Draper free zone today.


Martin Curtis said...

Hazaa to all of that.

Trend Shed said...

I'm impatient for Labour to leave office and to hear more details on Conservative policies.

The number of people providing care outside the NHS system as lone individuals is huge.

I'm convinced a model where more power is devolved at the local level and the right powers are centralised at the national level can have a big positive impact on issues like 'care in the home'.

Simon Gardner said...

“I bring you the good news that this website will be a Draper free zone today.”

Good indeed - if it can be trusted. Really, all this Drapery has been very silly.

Mr Mr said...

"PS I bring you the good news that this website will be a Draper free zone today."

If Dizzy is correct, then you may feel compelled to break your promise.

Has Draper been politely fired as Labour List editor?

Events dear boy, events said...

Thank the Lord for your PS under this post. As I have said Iain, it has to end. It looks like the Labour high ups may have done just concluded matters

Move on my friend, move on.

Anonymous said...

Who on earth reads The Sun?

Unsworth said...

Well The Sun has acted as The Sun usually does. Surprised?

Equally, the parents of these minors have several cases to answer. The sub-culture is now revealed for us all to see and consider - so The Sun has done us a great service by placing this story on its front pages.

I don't blame The Sun. I certainly question the mores of the communities and familes involved.

Weygand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlotte Corday said...

Like Jonathan Cook, I should like to hear what the Conservatives' proposals are.

As a carer myself,I find the present system
ludicrously over-bureaucratic and inefficient at directing help when and where it is most needed.

JuliaM said...

"Equally, the parents of these minors have several cases to answer."

To whom....? The authorities have already concluded that a prosecution is 'not in the public interest'.

Unsworth said...

@ JuliaM

Take your point, but I do hope that there is a higher 'authority' than those who make such decisions.

Let's not confuse legality with morality, eh?

Hacked Off said...

"British Bastards for British Chavs!"

It's government policy.

They even have a department whose raison d'etre would disappear if there were no more teenage pregnancies.

"The Teenage Pregnancy Unit is a cross-Government Unit located within the Department for Education and Skills which was set up to implement the Social Exclusion Unit's report on Teenage Pregnancy. This website contains information about the Government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, including guidance issued by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit as well as relevant publications from other Government Departments. There is also information about local implementation of the strategy and details about the Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy.

Teenage Pregnancy Unit
GD Caxton House
6-12 Tothill Street
London SW1H 9NA"

These civil servants owe their salaries and gold-plated pensions to teenagers having babies.

They will be delighted by the recent news stories about little Alfie and the Triplets.

The Penguin

TheBoilingFrog said...

John Suchet did an interview on BBC Breakfast as well which I saw, the stress of being a carer was all too clear to see (I didn't recognise him at first) and it was heartbreaking to see him so upset about essentially losing his wife even though she's still there physically.

Charlotte Corday said...

Iain, I don't feel you should have linked the John Suchet story with the Alfie Patten one.

John Suchet has highlighted extremely serious issues and whoever is in power over the next decade has got to face up to the fact that we have an aging population and many more will be caring for a relative with dementia.

I'm not saying that the Alfie Patten case doesn't highlight serious issues but if comments are just going to be of a "chav scum" variety, then an interesting and important topic about being a carer will be just dragged into a knee-jerk populist response.

strapworld said...

I agree with your words on John Suchet and his wife.

As for the child. Both parents should be charged with neglect under the Children and Young Persons Act. The baby should be taken into care immediately and the courts should allow the child to be adopted.

Both boy and girl should also be taken into care. I have never read of such an open and shut case of neglect, I would say wilful neglect.

If they can take the children off parents suspected, but not proved, of sexual assaults, and have those children adopted and the real parents, who have not been charged, cannot see them again.

Something is wrong in this country of ours.

As for the Sun. The Editor I believe is guilty of an offence under The Childrens and Young persons Act as well. HE should be charged!

Where is the magnificent Harriet Harman when you need her?

Iain Dale said...

Charlotte, I think the link is clear. And it's in the headline. I didn't use the word phrase chav scum, you did!

Dick the Prick said...

Charlotte - spot on. The general intimidation of the elderly is disgraceful - politically I was horrified to see Ming Campbell hounded out before he even got his foot in the door and replaced by a hair do.

I think, on the whole, Labour has spent lots of money on paliative care within the home for people with health needs which is to be applauded. The stress and anxiety (especially for ladies) of being put in a residential home is significant and Labour have done pretty darned well. The care of the elderly cannot be left to an organization or a department - we must all be our loved ones carers.

I would have voted for Ming in a second just out of principle. Can you remember before the Iraq war? Statesman - he echoed time and effort.

Plus Alfie's bollox haven't dropped - he ain't no daddy.

Charlotte Corday said...

I was referring to the "British Bastards for British Chavs" headline by The Penguin.

Iain Dale said...

Ah, hadn't noticed that.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I bring you the good news that this website will be a Draper free zone today.

You must surely be gagging to bring the good news to people?

John said...

I didn't hear the Suchet interview, does anyone have the heads up on listen again?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety

Plenty said...

Have WE lost our moral sense of what is right and wrong. It seems to me Labour have their heads in the clouds when it talks about Britain not being a broken society. If the news of Alfie Patten is anything to go by, then we have indeed lost our moral sense of right and wrong.

Read more of Have WE lost ur moral sense of what is right and wrong on www.plenty2say.com.

jailhouselawyer said...

"PS I bring you the good news that this website will be a Draper free zone today".

Hasn't your comment mentioning his name done exactly the opposite?

Perhaps, "He who's name shall not be spoken" would suffice?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

The newspapers are right to run this story. We are financing the amoral and decadent lifestyle of these people and we are entitled to know what we're paying for.

The Grim Reaper said...

I've always regarded John Suchet very highly. He was a newsreader who I trusted massively, and I think he was extremely brave to do that interview. I'm only in my 20s myself, but I always listen when people discuss issues such as this.

The Sun has behaved in the way it always does with stories regarding teenage mums and dads - appallingly. The rest of the media has been fairly responsible, on the whole. My only other comment on the "babyfather" thing is, imagine how Jeremy Kyle must feel? This is a story that's absolutely perfect for his programme - and some bugger gave the scoop to a newspaper instead!