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Louis Theroux visits a dementia home in Arizona

Post: 25 April 2012 in: TV, Film & Stage
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Concluding his two part series about mental illness Louis Theroux travels to Phoenix, Arizona to visit residents of the Beatitudes centre which caters for those in retirement coping with dementia.


This week’s hard-hitting documentary will introduce viewers to people like John. The 89 year old has to wear a name badge so his wife can remember who he is. Then there’s 60 year-old Gary who still believes he is working in the military. Gary is married to Carla and has been for the past twenty years, but he denies ever going to the wedding.


Louis gives a helping hand to Nancy, her dementia stops her from making conversation and she struggles to put words together, just like Gary and John she is still in a relationship and her husband is trying to save the cherished memories he still has of his wife before her disability took the person he fell in love with away from him.


The programme also brings to light dementia can strike as a much earlier age than the standard senior years which is so often associated with the mental illness. Take for example another person shown in tomorrow’s film, Glen’s wife has forgotten how to operate a mobile phone and she is only 49, which puts her husband in a very difficult situation as he starts to plan his future years.


Beatitudes Care home was founded in 1965, just like any other homes of its nature the centre provides daily activities as well as providing extra care to those who wish to live independently at home (such as Nancy.) The community itself caters for over 600 elderly people and makes their lives as peaceful and care-free as possible.


Louis Theroux: Extreme Love – Dementia is on BBC 2 at 9pm, Thursday 26 April.

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