DEMENTIA ACTION DAY - TRURO - 20th June 2015

5 SCENARIOS


Scenario 1: Public upset
Scenario 2: Early stages of dementia
Scenario 3: Later stages of Dementia
Scenario 4: Distressed in worship
Scenario 5: Dementia within active worship

Scenario 1: Public upset
THIS FIRST SCENE IS BASED ON A REAL LIFE SITUATION. IT EXPLORES THE NEED FOR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT DEMENTIA WITHIN OUR COMMUNITIES AND AIMS TO GENERATE POSITIVE STRATEGIES FOR INTERVENTION & SUPPORT.
CAROL: TO AUDIENCE. Hello, I'm Carol. I want to share something that happened last Thursday when I was shopping in Truro. I would really appreciate some advice on how I could have handled it better.
(SHOP IN TRURO)
JENNY: Look, just what I need. It's really good.
SHOPKEEPER: Excuse me, can I help you at all.
JENNY: It's everywhere here, right where it should be. (SHE PICKS ITEM UP)
SHOPKEEPER: Do you want to buy that?
JENNY: Yes, it's lovely.
SHOPKEEPER: That will be eleven pounds eighty please.
JENNY: Thank you.
JENNY GIVES THE SHOP KEEPER FIVE POUNDS. SHE HAS LOST UNDERSTANDING OF MONEY.
SHOPKEEPER: I'm sorry, but you didn't give me enough. I need another six pounds eighty please.
JENNY: That's right. I gave you the money right.
SHOPKEEPER: No you didn't, you only gave me a fiver, I need another six pounds and eighty pence.
JENNY: (GETTING UPSET) Now don't you go telling me it's not right. I've been moneying all the time for the ins and outs so don't you say I can't.
SHOPKEEPER: Look, this is what you gave me, it's not enough.
JENNY: Stop lying, you shouldn't do that. I know what I'm doing and it's right.
SHOPKEEPER: I'm sorry but I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
JENNY: No! You're stealing everything, I'm not lying.
SHOPKEEPER: I think it might be best if you left the shop.
SHOPKEEPER TRIES TO LEAD JENNY OUT
JENNY: No, no!
CAROL: TO AUDIENCE It was awful. The lady obviously had some sort of dementia and the shop keeper wasn't particularly helpful. I didn't know what to do, so ended up doing nothing. I just stood there watching what was going on and didn't say a thing.
FORUM WITH AUDIENCE.© Belinda Lazenby 2015

Scenario 2: Early stages of dementia
ANDREW HAS BECOME VERY FORGETFUL AND HIS BEHAVIOUR HAS CHANGED. HIS WIFE, MAVIS, KNOWS THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIM BUT DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. THEY ARE ABOUT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE
MAVIS: Oh Andrew, look at your cardigan, you've got it on inside out.
ANDREW: What's wrong?
MAVIS: Come here, let me help you. (SHE HELPS TURN IT THE RIGHT WAY ROUND)
ANDREW: I wasn't paying attention.
MAVIS: Come on we're going to be late.
ANDREW: I'll just get my coat. (LEAVES)
MAVIS: I'm looking forward to seeing Susan & David.
(ANDREW ENTERS WEARING THE WRONG COAT & IS STILL IN HIS SLIPPERS)
ANDREW: I'm ready
MAVIS: You've still got your slippers on
ANDREW: Ah.
MAVIS: And that's not your coat.
ANDREW: Isn't it?
MAVIS: No, it's Philip's.
ANDREW: Philip?
MAVIS: Our son? Look, give David a call and tell him we're going to be late, I'll go get your coat & shoes.
(GIVES HIM THE MOBILE. HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO, HE SHAKES IT.
MAVIS COMES BACK)
MAVIS: What are you doing?
ANDREW: It's not working. I don't know what to do with it.
MAVIS: Andrew, what's going on. You don't seem to be yourself, what's wrong?
ANDREW: (SNAPS) There's nothing wrong with me, it's just not working that's all.
KNOCK ON THE DOOR
SARAH: Hi Mavis, do you have a minute?
MAVIS: We're just going out actually.
SARAH: Ok. I just wanted to give you this.
MAVIS: £50, what's that for?
SARAH: It's Andrew's. He bought a newspaper this morning and told me to keep the change.
MAVIS: Oh.
SARAH: He was ever so polite, the perfect gentleman, but it didn't seem right, you know.
(SILENCE)
SARAH: I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have come. It's just, I thought you should know.
MAVIS: Thank you for telling me.
SARAH: I'm sorry.
MAVIS: It's ok, thank you.
SARAH LEAVES, MAVIS GOES BACK INTO THE ROOM WITH ANDREW
ANDREW: Who was it?
MAVIS: Just Sarah next door
ANDREW: What did she want.
MAVIS: She......just a chat, she just wanted a chat.
(TO AUDIENCE)
I didn't know what to say to her. I didn't know what to say to Andrew. I know something's wrong. What should I do?
FORUM WITH AUDIENCE © Belinda Lazenby 2015

Scenario 3: Later stages of Dementia
THIS SCENARIO EXPLORES SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES FACED WITHIN FAMILIES WHEN CARING FOR A LOVED ONE IN THE LATER STAGES OF DEMENTIA
MAVIS: Look, I don't want to get into an argument with you. You're his sister and you love him, I understand that. But you don't know how difficult it's been for Andrew, or how hard it's been for me.
DIANE: It can't be that hard, you're just fussing over nothing. Andrew's fine, he's just a bit forgetful that's all, you're making a big deal out of nothing.
MAVIS: He's got Alzheimer's! What do you know about anything? You swan in here with your advice and tell me it's nothing.
DIANE: You always did have a turn for the dramatics. It's probably your fault he got it in the first place.
MAVIS: How can you say such a thing! You're supposed to be family.
DIANE: I am family, but you can't expect me to be helping out, I've got my own kids to be looking after.
MAVIS: I wouldn't dream of asking you. You wouldn't last a week anyway.

AWKWARD SILENCE
I'm sorry, I'm just so tired. Andrew's sleep pattern is completely upset and he's up most of the night. He can't help it, it's just how the disease affects him. I'm caring for him 24 hours a day and I don't get a break.
DIANE: I've told you, I don't have the time to help.
MAVIS: So you've said. It's just difficult, I love Andrew but I feel I'm losing him. I'm frustrated and I'm lonely.
DIANE: Lonely, how can you be lonely? You're with Andrew in this beautiful house. You've got loads of friends. You're always going on about your weekends away dancing or doing those murder mystery things.
MAVIS: You really don't get it do you. We don't have any friends, they've stopped coming round. People don't know how to be around Andrew, they're embarrassed or feel awkward. Our life has shrunk to just me and him. Sarah pops in from next door now and then, but that's about it.
DIANE: I'm sorry about that, I didn't know. I know you want me to help out, but I can't. I've got the girls and my business, it's just taking off and I've got to focus on that.
MAVIS: I'm not asking you to do anything. I'm not asking you to help with his care. I just want a bit of understanding that's all. To be able to pick up the phone and have an adult conversation would be nice. Sometimes I just can't cope and I don't know what to do.
DIANE: I'm only saying.
MAVIS: You're Andrew's sister, you should be involved with this.
DIANE: Well that's just typical. What about Angela? She's his sister too, but you don't see her coming over to see Andrew do you? At least I made the effort.
MAVIS: Angela lives in Australia Diane, you can't expect her to just hop on a plane and fly over.
DIANE: No, but you'd expect me to. Look, I've got to go, I've got to pick the kids up. We'll talk about this another time.
DIANE LEAVES
MAVIS: I don't know why I bothered.
FORUM WITH AUDIENCE © Belinda Lazenby 2015

Scenario 4: Distressed in worship
GARY IS SITTING IN CHURCH AFTER SUNDAY WORSHIP. HIS WIFE, RITA, HAS DEMENTIA AND HE IS FINDING IT DIFFICULT. IT IS MAKING HIM QUESTION HIS OWN FAITH AND HIS BELIEF IN GOD.
TINA: Hi Gary, how are you doing?
GARY LOOKS AT TINA THEN LOOKS AWAY
TINA: Gary?
GARY: It's not fair.
TINA: Are you ok?
GARY: There isn't a God, there can't be.
TINA: Gary!
GARY: What sort of God would do this to Rita? Would do this to me?
TINA LOOKS AKWARD, SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY
TINA: You seem tired and upset, I understand.
GARY: How can you possibly understand? I've been married to Rita for 35 years, we've got children and grandchildren together, and now she doesn't even know who I am. My beautiful Rita doesn't know who I am.
TINA: It must be difficult (STRUGGLING KNOWING WHAT TO SAY)
GARY: Last week I had to ring the police at 3 in the morning because she'd managed to get out somehow. Do you know how helpless you feel when the woman you love is out there in the dark somewhere with just a nightie on? I was so scared. The police found her and brought her back.
TINA: I didn't know.
GARY: She can't help it you know. It's the disease. It's the disease that's changing her.
TINA: I'm sorry.
GARY: She gets so frustrated and angry sometimes, she's even hit me. My Rita would never do that, my Rita wouldn't hurt a fly.
TINA: I don't know what to say.
GARY: She loved God you know, it's just he didn't love her.
TINA: That's a terrible thing to say.
GARY: I don't know what to do anymore, I don't know what to say. (STARTS CRYING) My Rita, my Rita.........
TINA DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY OR HOW TO HELP
FORUM WITH AUDIENCE © Belinda Lazenby 2015

Scenario 5: Dementia within active worship
JAMES' WIFE, FIONA, HAS DEMENTIA. HE BELIEVES THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IS NOT BEING SUPPORTIVE AND IS TELLING THE VICAR, ALICE, HOW HE FEELS FOLLOWING A DIFFICULT COMMUNION SERVICE.
JAMES: I need to speak to you Alice.
ALICE: What's the matter James, you seem upset.
JAMES: People seem to have changed towards us.
ALICE: In what way?
JAMES: I think some people would prefer it if we didn't come to church anymore.
ALICE: I'm sure that's not true, the church is open to everyone.
JAMES: That's not how it feels. Fiona can't help her behavior. I know she can be disruptive at times and noisy, but she's not being deliberately difficult. She likes coming to church and it's important to us that we both take communion together.
ALICE: She seemed particular upset today.
JAMES: She was. We got quite a few "looks" and were asked to be quiet. I just want people to be more understanding, more accepting.
ALICE: Do you know why Fiona was upset?
JAMES: In truth, I really don't know what's going on, I wish I did. She has her favourite hymns which she enjoys, but beyond that it's hard to say.
ALICE: Is this why you've both stopped coming for a coffee after the service like you used to.

JAMES: Yes. It just seems that people are awkward around us. They may smile & say hello but don't want to stay and chat. Why is everyone so uncomfortable around dementia? They all know Fiona, they all know me, why should it be different just because she's got a disease? It's isolating and it's unkind.
ALICE: I'm sorry you feel this way.
JAMES: The church should welcome everybody, no matter what.
FIONA ENTERS
FIONA: Hello Alice.
ALICE : Did you like the service?
FIONA: Yes, it made me happy.
JAMES: You like coming to church don't you.
FIONA: I like speaking to God.
JAMES: I want you to do something Alice. Fiona's got Alzheimer's, it's a disease and it's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. We're supposed to be inclusive. Things need to change.
FORUM WITH AUDIENCE © Belinda Lazenby 2015

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