'Norm': I was being really self indulgent... - Care Community

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'Norm'

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator

I was being really self indulgent this morning and watching TV in bed on my laptop and enjoying several cups of tea!

I was watching a minor streaming service and came across a lovely documentary on showing mostly quite old material, but things I'd missed over the years, and this was one of them. I don't know if any of you might remember seeing this, but if not, it's worth a view!

It was around 20 years old, but I loved it because it was so heartwarming, and it had a Care theme. It was simply called ‘Norm’.

Its subject was Norm, who was born with Downs Syndrome in Canada in 1949 and the documentary was made when he was in his mid to late fifties.

His adoptive sister explained that when she was first adopted by her parents, she grew to love Norm, who became her older brother, and she was distressed when she was 8 and he around 14, and for some reason he was sent away to foster care. She vowed to rescue him.

The years had rolled on and Norm had had a reasonable life until some recent changes in his circumstances had made life more uncomfortable for him.

His sister’s partner asked one day whether she hadn’t considered having Norm to live with them, and his sister, never dreaming his partner would think of such a thing, jumped at the chance to fulfil her childhood promise to rescue Norm and look after him.

The documentary followed Norm’s daily life and it was wonderful to see what a sweet and loving person he was, and what a wonderful group of people he had surrounding him; his family and a wide circle of friends and members of his community who not only accepted him, but loved him deeply.

Norm not only had Downs Syndrome but also diabetes and I hadn’t realised previously that on top of all of that, people with Downs Syndrome almost all go on to develop Alzheimers and sadly Norm was no exception. And the documentary followed his challenges with this too.

I was only in awe of the lengths his sister went to protect and look after Norm, whatever the next challenge was.

Later this morning I discovered the documentary is also available on YouTube too, so I thought I'd share a link with you, in case you never saw this. like to see it too. It is very moving and inspirational, and also a tribute to what love and care can do for someone.

In tribute to all of you who do so much for the people you love and care for! It must feel sometimes that no one knows how much you do and how hard you work, but be assured that all of us here to know, and do care!

If you'd like to use the link to watch the video please click on the white title at the top of the video and not on the central button, to be sure it will work for you.

youtu.be/5RUpnbdmnzA

6 Replies

Wow, Norm and his family sound amazing, do we know if any of the family are still alive

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Jennymary

Being of curious mind I too wondered this Jennymary. The end of the documentary showed Norm and his carers still happily alive, but I fear Norm is probably gone now. If I’m able to find out any more I’ll let you know! 👍

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador

Thank you for that Callendersgal. It sounds like an uplifting tale of love and devotion. I had no idea that people with Downs Syndrome were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Xxx💜🤗

What a heartwarming post. Thank you for letting us know about it. 💕

Thank you Callendersgal for sending the link about Norm. I’ve just watched this on my iPhone whilst in bed. 😌 What a lovely, caring sister, her partner and the daily carer. It was so moving!

Norm’s parents had to live with their traumatic decision but Norm probably would not have received the happiness he ended up with if he had stayed with them. It was so sad when he rejected their hugs but obviously he knew why he was doing that and had bad memories 😟 I think his parents regretted giving Norm up in later life but I still found it difficult to accept what they did. 🤷‍♀️

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator

I think I agree with you about Norm and his parents Goldenanny. I wouldn't judge their behaviour as it really is a difficult decision, often based on things which children don't understand. It was also much more common for this sort of solution to be employed in years gone by. It happened with my own family when an aunt chose to have my niece with cerebral palsy cared for in residential care. But yes, chickens come home to roost, and obviously Norm felt very deeply about their decision. Thinking of this from today's perspective it does seem as though it's too hard a choice to make and I too think Norm's parents regretted what they did - maybe never more than the day when Norm rejected their hugs!But all in all it was a super documentary and one which left me feeling really uplifted Glad you enjoyed it too!

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