Whenever Ed Balls visits his mother at his nursing home, he hopes she will recognize him.
Unfortunately, her mother Carolyn suffers from dementia and often has no idea who her son is.
Drawing on his touching experiences with his elderly mother in care, Ed Balls made a moving documentary on the crisis of the system.
Here’s everything you need to know about Ed, his mother, and the BBC documentary Two Inside the Care Crisis starring Ed Balls.
What is Ed famous for?
Ed Balls is best known for being a politician and the former Shadow Chancellor under Labor.
He was Chancellor of the Shadow Exchequer from 2011 to 2015.
A member of the Labor Party and the Co-operative Party, he was a deputy for Normanton and subsequently for Morley and Outwood between 2005 and 2015.
In November 2017, Ed Balls was a contestant on I Will I Lie to You? and revealed that he once negotiated the Home Office budget while crawling into a baby ball pit!
After his career in politics, Ed Balls took part in BBC’s 14 series Strictly come and dance, surviving through week 10.
In 2021, he was the BBC’s winner Best celebrity home cook.
He currently hosts Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls on BBC Two.
Ed Balls mom – how old is he and where does he come from?
Edward Michael Balls was born on February 25, 1967 in Norwich, Norfolk.
He is currently 54 years old.
Ed attended Nottingham High School before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.
And is he married?
Ed Balls married Labor Congresswoman Yvette Cooper in January 1998.
In January 2008, they became the first married couple to serve together in HM’s cabinet when Cooper became Chief Secretary of the Treasury.
The couple have three children, Ellie, 22, Joe, 20 and Maddy, 17, the only one who still lives at home.
The family lives in Stoke Newington, London.
What is Ed Balls Day?
On April 28, 2011, Ed Balls made an embarrassing social media gaffe, which has haunted him ever since.
Driven by an assistant to search Twitter for a recent article about him, Ed accidentally entered the intended search term in the wrong box.
He tweeted only “Ed Balls”.
Thousands of Twitter users retweeted the post, and Ed Balls didn’t know it was possible to delete the tweets.
The tweet, in fact, has never been deleted.
The incident is now celebrated as “Ed Balls Day” every April 28th.
Ed Balls and his mother – dementia
Ed Balls is currently assisting aged care home patients in the moving two-part documentary Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls.
Her mother Carolyn, 82, is also being treated and hasn’t seen her for more than 16 months due to the pandemic.
In a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Ed says, “I always hope Mom recognizes me.
“If you don’t get any recognition it’s a bit disappointing, so I try to keep my expectations low.”
For the past three years, Carolyn has been in a specialized nursing home for people with dementia near Norwich.
Carolyn began developing dementia in her seventies.
She was a talented cook, but once she served the family a casserole of raw chicken.
The family was forced to send her to a home – a last resort – when she was found wandering miles from home trying to find her deceased parents.
And she states: “The acute moment I remember was in 2018 when she was found wandering the streets of Norwich.
“I was in a waiting room at Singapore airport, my brother was in California and my sister was in Nottingham and we had to make a plan because my dad couldn’t make it anymore.”
Tragically, there was a major Covid outbreak at Carolyn’s home in January, and more than half of the people in her wing died in seven days.
Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls on BBC Two
In this two parts BBC Two series, Ed Balls explores the crisis in the care industry, diving into a nursing home before entering the world of paid and unpaid home care.
In the first of the two, Ed spent time living and working in the nursing homes of Santa Cecilia.
The second episode sees him turn his attention to home care, as many millions more are being cared for in their own homes.
During her 14 hours a day, she follows a professional assistant as she makes 16 home visits, uncovering the financial hardships, emotional costs and daily frustrations that healthcare professionals often face.
Understandably, Ed wanted to film the series because of his mother and her experiences in nursing homes.
Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls will conclude on Monday 15 November 2021 at 9pm on BBC One.
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