In 2014, 79 year-old Tom Sivyer was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Shortly afterwards, his grandson Dominic began filming on this moving, intimate and warm documentary that follows Tom and his family through a period that would turn family life upside down.
“I started filming this documentary to try and make sense of an illness that was taking away the most important man in my life and dismantling 50 years of a marriage. But what I found defied expectation” – Dominic Sivyer
Shot over two years, Granddad, Dementia & Me, airing on Tuesday 11 July at 10.45pm on BBC One, is told through Dominic’s eyes as he struggles to look after his granddad Tom, whilst at the same time, his grandparents relationship begins to suffer under the onset of Tom’s disease. Dominic follows his granddad after he is sectioned, sent to a care home, and moved from one family home to the next.
At 82 years-old, Dominic’s grandma Pam, finding it almost impossible to live with the increasingly erratic husband, is faced with a terrible dilemma: does she stay with her husband as he turns into someone she doesn’t recognise, or will they have to separate?
Carefully balancing his role as both filmmaker and protagonist, Dominic presents an honest, unsweetened account of the crisis in his grandparents’ life. Despite the difficulty of the situation, the film is wrapped up in love and warmth. And just when it looks like the seemingly downward spiral of Tom’s illness will tear them apart, the family ultimately find a peaceful and happy solution in an unexpected situation.
Granddad, Dementia And Me airs Tuesday 11 July 2017 from 10.45pm-11.45pm on BBC One.