My name is Amanda Waring, I am a well known actress in the UK and as filmmaker and campaigner I am passionate about finding ways to change society’s attitude towards older people and I hope that the ten minute film I have made “What Do you see?” starring Virginia McKenna will continue to inspire people to have more compassion and understanding in the care of the older person, seeing them as an individual rather than as part of a category. I am on the board for the Dignity in Care campaign and now advise the UK government and am a regular key note speaker at conferences around the world.
I was inspired to make this film when my mother, the actress Dame Dorothy Tutin aged seventy was being treated for leukemia. I witnessed first hand the devastating effect that the lack of compassionate care had on both her mind, body and spirit. To my horror she had been dismissed and ignored at every turn, as if she was invisible. Human contact was at it’s bare minimum with the demoralized staff hardly making eye contact. In that particular hospital compassion and interaction with the elderly was not seen as a priority .I was to witness many moments when older patients were treated rudely and with a lack of respect. To see such a vital woman- as my mother indeed was – crushed by this experience made me determined to move hospitals.Her experience at the next hospital was better but only when Mama was in the care of wonderful Macmillan nurses did I see truly holistic care .When Mama died I was determined to make a film that would highlight the need for respect and understanding of the elderly, raising awareness as well as revenue for the charities Macmillan and Help the Aged. I sold my flat in order to fund this film, as it was too important to me not to be made. My film takes a journey through a day in the life of an elderly stroke victim who makes a silent but heartfelt plea for her carers to “ look closer ..see me” I have sold over 12,000 copies worldwide where the film has been used for trainings within care homes, NHS hospitals, prisons, schools so that the message of this film can be implemented in real and practical way. I am so grateful for the wonderful testimonials about the effectiveness of the film and how it has helped to re- inspire others that I have continued to make more films . The Big Adventure and NO Regrets are short, impactful, training films that explore spirituality and emotional care at end of life and are used greatly in Britain to open up debate around this sensitive subject.
This year I completed my training pack on dignity and person centred care that contains over 24 of my films and 50 hours worth of training. I realized how needed a resource was for individual care homes and hospitals to be able to provide in house training that is enjoyable yet powerful, for I believe that when the emotions are engaged then change really can happen. Please look on their website for details or go to mine at www.amandawaring.com and extracts of my films and talks are on you tube.
Editor's note: I am pleased to announce that Amanda Waring has her own page on our website click here