Christmas card mocking Alzheimer’s condemned as ‘utterly inappropriate’

Sabrina Barr
iStock

An Alzheimer’s charity has heavily criticised a Christmas card that mocks an old man with the condition as “utterly inappropriate”.

The card in question, which was created by comic company Modern Toss, features an illustration depicting an old man being led away from a Christmas dinner table.

“Where are you going with dad?” one character in the cartoon asks, to which the person escorting the elderly man responds: “I don’t care if he’s got Alzheimer’s, no one sticks their cock in the turkey.”

Alzheimer’s Society has demanded that the card be removed from sale, stating that it is “damaging” to the way in which people perceive those living with the disease.

While the card appears to have been removed from the Modern Toss website and is “currently unavailable” on Amazon, it is still available at comedycard.co.uk for £2.49.

The ‘utterly inappropriate’ Modern Toss card mocking Alzheimer’s disease (comedycard.co.uk)

“Although we like a joke at Alzheimer’s Society as much as the next person, and many people with dementia and their families may use jokes and humour as a way of coping with how they feel, the content of this card is misinformed, utterly inappropriate and actively damaging to the wider representation of people living with dementia,” said Helen Foster, director of communications at Alzheimer’s Society.

“Suggesting that people living with Alzheimer’s would behave in such an extreme way is not only an inaccurate representation of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but it is also deliberately derogatory to people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

Ms Foster added that the charity is going to contact Modern Toss to ask that the card is removed from sale, in addition to offering the company training with Dementia Friends “to help guide any future depictions”.

“Our research found half of people with dementia feel isolated and lonely, and we know that stigma around the condition is one of the biggest causes of this,” she stated.

The director of communications added that the card’s implication that a grandson would not want to see his grandfather all year – which is insinuated by the cartoon character on the card who says: “See you next year Grandad – is “hurtful and misleading”.

“Even when people living with dementia don’t seem to recognise loved ones, evidence shows that time with them makes a big difference to their emotional wellbeing,” Ms Foster said.

“Christmas is a wonderful time to ensure people with dementia are included and can enjoy spending time with their loved ones.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a collective term for diseases and conditions that involve problems with language, thinking skills and memory loss.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that the brains of those living with the condition gradually become more damaged over time.

According to Alzheimer’s Society, more than 520,000 people in the UK have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The Independent has contacted Modern Toss for comment.

Read more

Terry Jones ‘not doing terribly well’ in dementia battle