Louis Theroux: Extreme Love

Louis Theroux: Extreme Love - Dementia

Series 1 - Episode 2 Louis Theroux: Extreme Love - Dementia

ADVERTISEMENT

Review

There’s something of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest about the Beatitudes centre in Phoenix, Arizona, a “retirement community” for men and women who have dementia. Listen closely and you can hear soothing music; the long white corridors seem endless, and none of the patients can get out.

In a sad, revealing hour Theroux meets residents, their families and carers looking after loved ones in their own homes. Like John, 89, who wears a name badge so his adored wife Nancy can try to remember who he is. Theroux visits Glen and his wife, who at 49 can’t recall how to use a mobile. Glen thinks about the future: “Do I go to the courts and get a divorce to make her a ward of the state?”

Summary

Louis visits Phoenix, Arizona, to explore dementia, a condition that steadily erodes the personality of its sufferers and constantly tests the people looking after their loved ones. He visits Beatitudes care home, where he meets Gary, a 69-year-old who thinks he is still a practising dentist and denies ever marrying Carla, his wife of 20 years. He also becomes carer for the day to Nancy, a former New York model who regularly gets confused, but whose husband still sees glimpses of the woman he first fell in love with.
Documentary