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Elderly dignity tackled in documentary

26th April 2006

A new documentary is promoting the importance of dignity in elderly care.

The ten-minute documentary, directed by Amanda Waring, is intended to draw attention to society's treatment of older people and encourage better care of the elderly, particularly in hospital.

Entitled What Do You See?, the film follows a stroke victim, played by Virginia McKenna, recovering in hospital. The audience watches as the elderly patient tries unsuccessfully to gain the attention of her carers.

The film is based on Ms Waring's own observations of her late mother's stay in hospital. Ms Waring claims that in one hospital her elderly mother was "dismissed and ignored at every turn as if she was invisible". She reports that her mother was given little human contact, with the family arguing that this adversely affected her recovery.

Ms Waring says that her mother received significantly improved treatment after transferring hospitals, with the first hospital accused of failing to prioritise compassion and interaction.

As well as seeking to raise awareness of the importance of dignity and personal contact in elderly care, proceeds from the film are also being used to raise funds for Help the Aged and Macmillan cancer relief.