Mikey

The grandson

Played by Michael McCardie

Mikey, Barbara’s grandson, is raging about a friend Darren. Mikey feels betrayed. Darren met Barbara in the past but could not handle that Barbara has dementia. Called her “nuts” and could not understand that she had mixed him up with a long-lost beloved brother, when he should have been flattered. Mikey is annoyed that he didn’t see through Darren then. On social media Darren has posted that the NHS needs to be preserved and the people in care homes are “past their sell-by date”. Mikey is disgusted. That attitude to dementia is that Covid 19 would put his grandmother out of her misery and save money. Darren had “liked” that idea. Mikey wishes he could see his gran and reassure her.

Mikey’s birthday. He would have loved to see Barbara, and she had always promised that this birthday, his eighteenth would be special. He received a card, but it was not from her, because it even got his name wrong. In the middle of last night, he had witnessed his mother weeping alone in her kitchen and it made him wonder how many other people are going through this. Mikey is irritated about his Paul. Paul is thoughtless and his birthday gift seems a bit mean, and Paul can’t even address Mikey by his preferred name. For his birthday, he just wants his mum not to have to cry about his gran. He wants to make it better.

Mikey reflects at the window. People are dying in the care home. He’s trying to work out how it is spreading. Is it staff or agency workers? How would they know if there’s no testing? He’s not blaming the front-line workers, but it’s like carrying a gun. Mikey is angry about what is being said on the TV. He’s angry with his uncle Paul who is threatening to come and take over by removing Barbara from the home. His mum just wants to look after her, but it’s like his gran has just been put in jail.

Mikey describes the episode on Skype where his granny just kept saying “if I’ve done something wrong, tell her I’m sorry. Tell her I miss her.” They’ve discussed taking Barbara home. Jim, his stepdad said they couldn’t manage it and Mikey wanted to hit him, even though he knows Jim is a good man, and probably right. The whole family is distraught for themselves, each other, and all the other families affected. Mikey has turned 18 during a crisis and the world is totally changed and will never be the same. Even in his dreams Mikey is searching and searching. He promises that one day he’ll find the key to all of this.

The Actor 

The character of Mikey is played by Michael McCardie, who is currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has worked on films such as Wasted and Dropping off Michael, and appeared in From Paisley to Paolo last year at the Oran Mor. Michael is represented by Brennan Artists.

Michael in his own words

Personally for me I’ve got a friend who recently went through something really similar with his Gran. I know how hard it was for him and his family so I can only imagine how much lockdown will have amplified that for so many people in this type of situation.

Resources

If any issues arise for you on looking at this film, you may find some of the resources here helpful, or contact the Trust on admin@dementiatrust.org.uk. If you know of any resources that we should include on this page, or links to another website, please let us know. Although Take Me With You is a work of fiction, every plot line in the story is lifted from a published news story or the personal experience of the writers and actors.

Some of the news stories are listed here, but the Trust is happy to be asked about any parts of the story that anyone feels present and exaggerated, unfair or untrue picture.

Coronavirus, Ageism and Twitter: An evaluation of Tweets about Older Adults and Covid 19 is a research study about ageist and potentially offensive content in social media

Dementia Action Alliance – educating young people about dementia is a useful tool for creating a dementia friendly generation

Dementia resources for young people has practical advice and information

Dementia resources for teachers and youth workers is a downloadable toolkit

Dementia can be difficult to talk about, so check out these books for young people which look at it, and how it impacts families

News stories

Coronavirus may force UK doctors to decide who they’ll save, prioritising younger, healthier patients. It was not just young people, but whole systems that seemed to be ageist

Discussion of rationing decisions. People make the best decisions they can in a public health emergency, but we need to learn from this

Care manager got letters about breaches of human rights for locking down early, but later got letters of thanks. With hindsight, everyone should have locked down earlier, and those who did reaped the benefits

Some young people thought they were immune

Young people write to care homes to put smiles on faces of residents

Care for care homes

West Suffolk charity hopes to get more younger people to connect with care home residents

There were good examples of things that children and young people could do to make life better for isolated elders