This moving and thought-provoking documentary, which deservedly won the Best Documentary award one week ago at the UK’s Deaf film festival Deaffest, looks at the issue of care for elderly Deaf people in England.
People in Britain are living longer and there are now more older people than there are children. But levels of support vary, and one of the key arguments of this film is that there is a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to care. The film reminds us how important care provision is, and looks at the dilemmas facing older people.
One elderly Deaf woman is 84, and she lives alone. She’s profoundly deaf and has lived on her own since her husband died. Her son used to come and see her everyday, but then he died early, at the age of 50. We sense her loneliness, and how important her support worker from Sign Health is to her.
Meanwhile, Stephen is 88, and has mobility problems. He’s been a widower for 12 years and he’s thinking about moving to a care home. But if he does move then he’ll be leaving his local Deaf friends behind. His choice is a difficult one.
Then there is Mary, who has faced a dilemma after her husband Alan’s stroke. Also diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, she now visits him in a care home.
Through these stories, the film shows just how important care is for older Deaf people, who are far more likely to be isolated, and need support from people who are deaf aware.
The film, which is directed by Camilla Arnold and funded by the BSLBT, also asks us to consider what will happen when we ourselves reach old age, and should spark a debate. Are we all putting our heads in the sand when we consider the latter stages of our lives?
Who Cares? is essential viewing for all Deaf people.
Review by Charlie Swinbourne, Editor
Who Cares? was produced by Louis Neethling for Mutt and Jeff Pictures. It can be seen at this link on the BSL Zone website: http://www.bslzone.co.uk/bsl-zone/who-cares/
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