Our dementia choir with Vicky McClure
When I grow up
Thursday, channel 4
Our dementia choir showed Vicky McClure who may be "Haitch" if I'm not "Haitch" – everyone could be "Haitch" from Line Of Duty; Are you haitch? * – You form a choir to improve the life of people with dementia.
It was powerful, emotional, moving, and asked if there was anything that couldn't be done better by throwing a choir at it. I would ask Gareth Malone, but in my mind I can see him curling up into a bubbling ball and hissing, "I thought I sewed it all together."
Maybe he is best left alone.
Vicky McClure (pictured here with members of the dementia choir) has skin, so to speak, because her grandmother Iris had dementia before her death
McClure has skin, so to speak, because her grandmother Iris suffered from dementia before her death. "My Nanna was very brave with a cracking sense of humor and a dirty laugh," she said, "but dementia removed all of that and left only a shell."
She put together a 20-member choir between the ages of 87 and 31. There were Julie and Betty and Mick and Chris and Daniel and Rae. Dementia is an umbrella term for any disease that leads to progressive loss of brain cells and affects everyone in different ways, depending on which cells are lost and when.
(I confess I didn't know that.)
Julie, 50, had a short-term memory loss and couldn't remember whether she had showered or not. Sometimes she took a shower after showering. Betty, 82, said: "I forget I have dementia."
Chris, 67, had been uninhibited. "We like some action in the bedroom," he said to McClure. "He's not the man I married," said his wife Jane. "I just find it so, so sad … It's like a long goodbye. We lose something from him every week."
The scientific work showed how music stimulates and stimulates the brain in a way that other auditory information does not. Some couldn't remember what they had for breakfast, but could remember lyrics from years ago.
Rae, a former music teacher who hasn't been near a piano for more than a decade, suddenly sat down and performed For Elise Perfect. Where does it come from? "I don't know," she said.
"I thought I didn't remember how to play." It's like a wonderful awakening. “However, it was equally important to build strong social bonds between families that otherwise appeared to be hiding.
31-year-old Daniel has an extremely rare form of Alzheimer's. He inherited a faulty gene from his father, who died at the age of 36. He now has problems with memory, language and basic motor skills and is the father of two-year-old twins.
He is about to marry the twins' mother, Jordan, who was the loveliest woman you could ever hope for, and somehow cope with the incredible strain. (The likelihood that one of the twins will have the disease is 50:50.)
McClure visited her at home and although she didn't want to cry – "This is not about me" – she did. "Two young people … it's so damn cruel."
The choir appeared Stand by Me At a pre-wedding celebration for Daniel and Jordan, it was important to get together and see people rather than the illness that was important.
Daniel cried and Jordan cried and Vicky cried and I cried, and if you didn't cry, what are you made of? Stone? It was good to see dementia brought out to the public, and there is a second episode this week that I don't know about.
Will the choir be dissolved? I don't hope losing is just another thing for them.
When I grow up is called a "social experiment", but is really just an excuse to exterminate adorably cute kids if no other adorably cute kids are brought out on channel 4.
The deal is that children from different backgrounds can try careers that they may never have thought of. This week it was journalism where seven year olds were hired Hi! Magazine.
Ha! They call it journalism, I wanted to be scornful, but then I remembered that I only watch TV, so fair play. The star of the show was definitely Isabella, who announced that she had made her own newspaper last year. Isabella's newsand talked us through.
"There are facts about alcohol and what cancer can do to you and child abuse," she said. "Fascinating," said Rosie Nixon, editor-in-chief of the magazine, who was obviously scared.
The team was deployed in various ways to interview Myleene Klass, track Charles and Camilla, and host a VIP performance of The Lion King. My favorite moment was when Isabella met Myleene's press officer and said, "I'm not a big Myleene fan. I've never heard of her."
Meanwhile, Charlie, who was too confident, seemed to be learning that teamwork doesn't mean telling a team what to do, while Ryley, who was the least confident, found out that his voice could be heard. But mostly they were just adorable. Job done.
* The guy who just delivered my groceries. Is he "haitch"?
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