With this new BBC drama creating waves amongst viewers, it makes for an interesting watch from the perspective of those working in care.
A standalone 90-minute drama from the BBC, entitled ‘Care’, has attracted widespread praise for its portrayal of the struggle that many families are faced with when a loved one falls into serious ill-health. Sheridan Smith stars as the daughter whose life is turned upside down when her mother suffers a stroke and subsequently develops dementia. The story itself was written by Jimmy McGovern and Gillian Juckes, and the programme aired on 9th December.
The response from critics has been extremely positive. Indeed, it was hailed by the Guardian as Sheridan Smith’s best performance yet, while several others have praised it for its accurate portrayal of the social care crisis facing the NHS, and of the experience many people face when trying to get assistance from the public sector. So how does the private sector view the show and its portrayal of care work more generally?
Challenges For Carers
‘Care’ tells the story of a single mother, Jenny – played by Sheridan Smith, as she deals with the aftermath of her mother, Mary – played by Alison Steadman, suffering a stroke. In the drama, Mary is subsequently diagnosed with dementia, but after a short three-week stint in hospital, she is discharged and sent home. The events are said to be loosely based on real-life events experienced by writer Gillian Juckes.
The character of Jenny is frustrated by the lack of support available and although she subsequently gets her mother Mary a place in a care home, the staff there have a funding crisis. As a result, the over-worked staff lose track of her and Mary is found roaming the streets in a state of confusion.
In response, Jenny takes her mother in and decides to become her carer. She receives an allowance from the government, but it comes nowhere close to making up for the money she loses as a result of leaving employment. Jenny then learns about an NHS healthcare package that her mother is entitled to, but struggles to gain approval for it, even encountering a rigged questionnaire and a stressful appeals process.
“When I realised what the script was about and I read it, I cried all the way through it. It really moved me,” Sheridan Smith said, according to the Radio Times. “Lots of people will be going through the same situation. They’re just a real family and it could happen to anyone, up and down the country. It’s very important.”
Support is Available
One of the reasons it has been so well-received is because the drama is based on reality. Indeed, many people throughout the country, including those working in care assistant jobs, will be able to relate to the difficulties in gaining health authority support, and the stresses and struggles associated with caring for a loved one at home.
With that being said, private sector companies like Abbots Care are keen for people to understand that support is available. While caring for a loved one at home can be challenging, seeking professional support from a trained domiciliary or dementia care worker can help to alleviate stress, and improve your loved one’s quality of life.
Providing in-home care for loved ones is an excellent solution for many families, allowing those living with dementia and other serious illnesses to maintain a level of independence and normality. Through professional care services like Abbots Care, families can also gain support from those with formal care work qualifications, allowing them to deliver a higher standard of care, and to take regular breaks from care provision.
“Sheridan Smith does a brilliant job highlighting the physical and emotional challenges of those caring for vulnerable loved ones,” Abbots Care said, in a statement released after the BBC One show aired.
“With illnesses such as dementia on the rise, and with an increasingly ageing population, we are now experiencing a higher demand for care. At Abbots Care we pride ourselves on the outstanding quality of home care we provide our customers, ensuring their loved ones are confident they are in the safest hands.”
Contact Abbots Care
If you are living in the Hertfordshire or Dorset regions and can relate to the BBC drama ‘Care’, please do not struggle alone. Contact Abbots Care today and we will be more than happy to discuss the services we can provide, so that your loved one receives the care they need, and you receive additional help.
Alternatively, if you are a care worker, or are looking to transition into care work, we have care assistant jobs available. Get in touch and we will gladly talk you through our applications and training processes.