Special episode: Ashley's dementia
A special episode is currently being filmed to give an insight into living with dementia.
Last year, an emotional storyline unfolded which saw Ashley diagnosed with stroke related early onset vascular dementia. Over recent months his condition steadily worsen. In this special one off episode the camerawork and editing will be given a distinctively different feel to show Ashley's point of view as confused he leaves the hospital and makes his way out onto the streets alone.
Discussing the concept behind the episode, series producer, Iain MacLeod, explains:
“People living with dementia face challenges most of us can barely imagine. So, I took it as a challenge to help people picture this experience – to put them inside the mind of someone living with this condition.
With this chapter of Ashley's story, we set out to give people an insight into how ordinary, day-to-day experiences can become disorientating and distressing when refracted through the lens of dementia. Catching a bus, the apparently simple act of buying something in a shop, holding a conversation - all of these become tasks of Herculean scale.
By telling the episode solely from Ashley's point of view and seeing things the way he sees them, I hope we're showing a side of dementia that is seldom represented on television.
At its core, though, this has always been a love story between Ashley and his wife Laurel, and this episode is a heart-breaking landmark in the evolution of their relationship."
The episode has been conceived and produced with support from both the Alzheimer’s Society and MHA (Methodist Homes) who have been working closely with the Emmerdale production team from the start of this storyline to give the most realistic depiction of Ashley’s dementia as it progresses.
Stay tuned for the special episode, due to air in December.