David Baddiel has called for the “epidemic” of dementia as a killer of older people to be given more public attention. I agree!
He said creating The Trouble With Dad was hard but decided there must be a wider dialogue about the disease.
Baddiel told the Radio Times: “T here is no situation where it is straightforwardly OK to put someone on camera who is not totally informed about it due to dementia, as is the case here.
“But the alternative is that nobody ever talks about this, and we must. It’s an epidemic – the largest killer of older people, bigger than cancer. We must bring that into the light.”
His father, 82, suffers from Pick’s disease – a rare type of dementia that can see sufferers become sexually disinhibited and prone to swearing and rude behaviour.
The film, was aired on Channel 4 in February, focusing on the relationship between Colin and Baddiel and his brother Ivor
The comedian, who is probably best known for his work with Frank Skinner, said he feels “exhausted” after weekly visits with his father.
“He’s hard work. Some times he’s not too mad, but others he’s very thankless. He can be extremely exasperating.”
The father of two added: “He doesn’t understand who the kids are any more. He was never a cuddly grandpa. He doesn’t always know Ivor and me.
“He understands he has sons, and can recognise pictures of us from our teens, but he seems to think we should still look like that.”
So my biggest question here is “why in the early to mid development of this disease in patients do doctors, social services, carers, banks and administrator speak to dementia sufferers as though they will remember a single word?”
“Why do they expect them to read small print leaflets instead of writing to them?