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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 09:33 GMT
Wisdom family makes care decision
Sir Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman Wisdom is in a home on the Isle of Man
The family of legendary showman Sir Norman Wisdom have spoken about their decision to admit him to a care home.

Nick Wisdom said his 92-year-old father, who suffers from vascular dementia, was no longer able to interact with his family as he used to.

The strain of caring for him became too much, the family said, and he is now living in a residential home on the Isle of Man.

A BBC Two documentary about Wisdom, Wonderland, is be shown at 2150 GMT.

There was no question of locking him away
Nick Wisdom, son

Mr Wisdom said his wife, Kim, and his father's former PA had shared caring for Sir Norman in his own Manx home.

Mrs Wisdom said: "When I first started to look after him he was relatively OK and it was sustainable.

"As time progressed he was in mental decline and I was 95% of the time looking after him, 5% looking after the family."

Following a fall his family, after advice from a doctor, decided that it would be better to place Sir Norman into residential care.

Professional advice

Responding to question over criticism that his family were stopping his friends from coming to see him while he was in the home, son Nick denied that was the case.

"He had to get into the routine of the home and we were told that that would take four to six weeks and so we said to people, 'hang fire for a few weeks'. There was no question of locking him away," he said.

Kim Wisdom added: "We were acting on professional advice, and that this is normal procedure when a dementia patient goes into a residential home, they have this period before you slowly introduce people back into their lives."

When ask how Sir Norman, he found living in a home Kim Wisdom said: "Intrinsically he has the same characteristics which is to perform.

"He is on mental decline and it's very difficult to have a conversation with him, he is unable to reciprocate."

Nick Wisdom said that his father was physically fine and while a camera crew was filming the family for a documentary about coping with dementia, he acted up for them, even jumping on a rowing machine to make people laugh.

Footage from the documentary on Norman Wisdom

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