1. Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by Susannah - Online team at Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:44 pm


    We have recently had a discussion over on YCNet, (our website for young carers), about how people with dementia are portrayed in soap operas. We were struggling to recall any good examples of stories where someone had dementia and were being cared for by a relative.

    I have to admit that I'm not an avid soap opera fan and tend to just watch them as and when I get time. So, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on how well storylines cover issues such as dementia, or any other illness, disability or condition, for that matter. Do they give an accurate account of the reality of the situation, the day-to-day challenges that both the person being cared for and the carer face? Are there enough stories and if so, do you think it helps?

    It'd be great to know what you think :)

    Online support team

  2. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by swissmiss at Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:01 pm

    Do you not watch Corrie??? Paul the fireman's wife had Dementia..at quite a young age. I thought the way it was done showed well the stresses and strains and esoecially the strain it had on him caring for someone who didnt know who he was a lot of the time. I was only talking about it yesterday at Bereavement support group. Mostly I think disability issues are fairly well represented but they dont go on for years on end. It isnt so much the disability and its challenges or the caring but the lack of an end to it which is hard.
    Karen x

  3. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by jaye2080 at Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:12 am

    I don't see these story lines as a good thing. They tend to run for 2 or 3 months then seem to be written out, which as we long term carers know that in real life that just doesn't happen.
    Two prime examples being (1) Zac on emmerdale having mental health problems. The story line started well and showed something of the anxiety and fear that the family was going through, but 6 months down the line there is barely a mention of it and everything is all better! How many carers today suffer for years because a loved one has mental health issues.
    And (2) I recall a while back on corrie that David Platt was diagnosed with epilepsy, he was diagnosed one day and everything sorted the next. My husband developed epilepsy 11 years back and his seizures are still not under control, not to mention all the post ictal problems i have to cope with.
    If the characters cannot be 'made better' there is always the unfortunate accident to cut the story line short. These stories never go on for years and show the real truth.

    People tend to believe soaps, so if they portray all disabilities and illnesses as temporary, thats what the public believe them to be. Long term carers have a hard enough time as it is without someone disbelieving what we go through because some character on whatever soap got all better within a few weeks.

  4. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by Jennifer 1 at Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:13 pm

    I do understand where you are coming from,but to be honest with you in my opinion they go on far to long sometimes,weeks.
    I think the general idea is to make people aware that there is help and to ring the number and talk to the people experience enough to deal with each and everyone individual problems.
    Yes you are right it would take a long time to tell the true story.Also no two carers have the same situations or problems.I realy dont think it is for people having the normal every day life.
    Love Jenni. :)

  5. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by Jennifer 1 at Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:23 pm

    Holby for one,no way is this like a normal hospital,arguing over a opperating table,personal problems while standing at a bed of a dying patient,no way should any soap be taken true to life,thats why it is called a soap and not a true story I guess.
    I have watched many stories on the computer of true stories of a carer,now they are real.I can remember Emergencie ward ten,now that was truer to life.Casualty,I dont think so,but we watch them knowing they are faulse.

  6. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by swissmiss at Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:27 am

    I dont understand Jennifer...how could they make it even feel real if it lasted a week or two? Do you have a particular storyline in mind? I haven't watched Casualty of Holby..used to be an avid fan..since they started using that funny camerawork and weird acting!! :)

  7. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by Jennifer 1 at Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:20 pm

    I am saying as you are love,that they cant,not possible.
    These soaps are so they say baste on every day life,I dont think so.Now Jerry Kial yes,it happens lol.Bit OTT sometimes,but it also has to be acted out. lol.No soaps could not be doing more I guess. x

  8. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by Jennifer 1 at Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:35 pm

    Its like the lady who is acting blind,no way is she blind,not true.Are we expecting to much from soaps,it seems now so differant from 25 years ago,it has become more serious to be true to life,and the only way that it could explain dementia and the carer,is for it to be a film,not a soap opera.Im sure there would be a few carers who could act this out perfectly,also as a person or persons being cared for.
    Many things have to have been done hands on to have the experience,it can not be acted by someone with writen lines,and a night of reading their lines.No Way.

  9. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by swissmiss at Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:49 pm

    Hi Jen
    Do you mean Lizzie in Emmerdale? I was sure she was played by a an actress who is herself blind so I googled her and found she has a very moving life story..........
    I found the Jackson storyline very moving especially as Neil became Paraplegic and took his own life although the support worker was a bit too good to be true and they didnt wait five minutes for their home to be adapted!? The main characters feelings I found to be very true to life though.
    How are you doing these days Jen???
    Karen x :)

  10. Re: Could the soaps be doing more?

    Posted by gaygal14 at Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:17 am

    Morning everyone,, and a good Tuesday to you all,, hope you are all well today and also hope that your caring duties are running smoothly for you all,if possible, I have just been reading all your comments concerned with this topic,, and I must say that they are very varied and interesting,, I would also like to add my comment, and say that I think that soaps are just that soaps,,, ,, and should be taken with a pinch of salt, I personally cant stand the English soaps that are on, I only watch the Australian soaps,, which I love,, but that is only my opinion,, if you ever get some YOU TIME during your busy caring roles,, try and watch the DVD of Iris,, portrayed by the great Dame Judi Dench,, it is about the Authoress Iris Murdoch, and her and her families trials and traumas in dealing with her dementia,, now that is a true story,, and tells of the struggles they have to cope with,, not like these soaps,, your ill one day at deaths door,, then all of a sudden hey presto you are well,, but do bear in mind that this is only my opinion of the soaps,, so feel free to agree or disagree with my comments,, thank you,, :D:D:D:D have a good day,,,,, Maggie xx
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