NO CONCERNS - An everyday story of abuse

NO CONCERNS – An everyday story of abuse No Concerns is a new radio play, based on a real-life case, that documents the financial exploitation of Margaret Wentworth, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s, by her carer. Produced by David Clegg, voiced by actors and narrated by Juliet Stevenson, the play brings to light failings by social services and reveals legal loopholes that leave the elderly and vulnerable open to abuse. The Wentworth family, faced with unhelpful, inaccurate – and at times dishonest – information and advice from social workers are driven to record their interactions with them. No Concerns recreates word for word real emails, texts, phones calls and covertly recorded meetings between family members and care providers. What soon becomes apparent is that some of the very people who should be protecting Margaret are complicit in her continued abuse. The play charts a family breakdown and reveals how and why social services turned a blind eye to the financial abuse of a vulnerable woman with dementia. This is a not a play everyone will enjoy, but it is a play everyone should hear. Anyone with a family member who suffers from dementia will know the heartbreak it can bring, even when the support systems are in place. No Concerns shows what happens when those systems fail. Government cuts to care budgets are making increasing numbers of vulnerable old people reliant on unskilled caregivers; neighbours, members of the community, distant relatives; some of them are unsuitable, untrustworthy and mercenary. What happened to the Wentworth family is happening now to families up and down the country. It’s estimated that one third of people with dementia become victims to financial exploitation and the figure is on the rise. Shockingly, in the UK we have no specific law making it a criminal offence to manipulate someone with dementia for the purpose of financial gain. David Clegg, artist and founder of the Trebus Project, has been working with people with dementia since 2001. His Radio 4 series of monologues, Ancient Mysteries, produced by Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse, reached an audience of more than 2 million and was nominated for an international radio award. This is his first work dramatizing the experiences of a dementia sufferer’s family and care givers.