I have been thinking about posting this for a while. I did not get round to it, but a current news story prompted me.
In the various care homes I visit, the television is almost constantly on in the communal day room. It can sometimes be a distracting nuisance when I am trying to talk to a resident, who may be hard of hearing, but I recognise that things need to be done for the benefit of most of the residents in general.
On a recent visit I saw a resident seated in front of a cookery demonstration programme. The resident did not exactly seem over-excited, and I wondered about how appropriate it was for these elderly residents to be watching such programmes, when it was highly unlikely they would ever cook in their own kitchens again.
I mentioned this to a relative with stronger links to the care home than mine. She responded to the effect that it was not easy to try to satisfy all residents all the time. She cited a case of one resident who was very keen on travel programmes, even though he was unlikely to travel again. It brought back happy memories of the many places he had visited in the past. However it did not suit some other residents.
I wonder if anybody else on this forum has ideas on how best to keep residents entertained with the TV. Is it just the case that some homes simply switch the TV on each morning and let residents take pot luck with whatever comes on? I think I could make a better choice. You could not go far wrong with BBC2, especially Victoria Derbyshire’s current affairs programme.
Which brings me onto that dreaded programme, “The Jeremy Kyle Show” - the damnation of television in my view. (I have another word to describe it, but not polite enough for this forum.) It is hardly the programme I would choose to watch myself, and ironically I got to see it during visits to care homes. Nothing to do with proper counselling is this program. More a case of provoked acrimony. Yes, let’s have the heavies waiting in the wings to deal with the occasional punch-up. Cheap sensational material exploiting down-and-outs with their personal problems. I once visited my mother, also in a care home, and this programme was on. “This is a horrible programme,” she said, and we moved to her private bedroom, but this is not always an option for everyone.
Now the programme has been pulled, and I hope for good. It is a just pity that it has taken a suicide following a grilling to bring this about. Put Jeremy Kyle back on breakfast television, where he can direct his judgemental venom at pompous politicians.