Ed Balls mum

Ed Balls reveals his own mum doesn’t recognise him as a result of her dementia

Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls airs on BBC Two

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Every time Ed Balls visits his mum in her care home, he hopes she will recognise him.

Sadly, his mum Carolyn suffers from dementia and often has no idea who her son is.

Drawing on his poignant experiences with his elderly mother in care, Ed Balls has made a moving documentary about the crisis in the system.

Here’s everything you need to know about Ed, his mum and the BBC Two documentary Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls.

Ed Balls
Ed Balls with care home residents Betty and Phyllis, but how is his mum? (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: GMB: Ed Balls divides viewers as he makes hosting debut

What is Ed famous for?

Ed Balls is best known for being a politician and the former Shadow Chancellor under Labour.

He served as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2011 to 2015.

A member of the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party, he was MP for Normanton and later for Morley and Outwood between 2005 and 2015.

In November 2017, Ed Balls was a contestant on Would I Lie to You? and revealed he once negotiated the Home Office budget while crawling in a children’s ball pit!

Following his career in politics, Ed Balls took part in series 14 of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, surviving until week 10.

In 2021, he was the winner of the BBC’s Celebrity Best Home Cook.

He currently hosts Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls on BBC Two.

Ed Balls mum – how old is he and where is he from?

Edward Michael Balls was born on February 25 1967 in Norwich, Norfolk.

He is currently 54 years of age.

Ed attended Nottingham High School before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.

Ed Balls and wife Yvette Cooper
Ed Balls and wife Yvette Cooper (Credit: Splash)

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Is Ed married?

Ed Balls married Labour MP Yvette Cooper in January 1998.

In January 2008, they became the first married couple to serve together in HM Cabinet when Cooper became Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

They pair have three children, Ellie, 22, Joe, 20, and Maddy, 17 – the only child who still lives at home.

The family live in Stoke Newington, London.

What is Ed Balls’ Day?

On April 28 2011, Ed Balls made an embarrassing social media gaffe – that has haunted him ever since.

Urged by an assistant to search Twitter for a recent article about him, Ed accidentally entered his intended search term in the wrong box.

He sent a tweet reading only “Ed Balls”.

Thousands of Twitter users retweeted the post and Ed Balls was unaware that it was possible to delete tweets.

In fact, the tweet has never been deleted.

The incident is now celebrated as “Ed Balls Day” every 28 April.

Former MP Ed Balls recently tried his hand at presenting on GMB (Credit: ITV1)

Ed Balls and his mum – dementia

Ed Balls is currently caring for elderly care home patients in the moving two-part documentary Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls.

His own mother Carolyn, 82, is also in care and he didn’t see her for more than 16 months as a result of the pandemic.

In a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Ed says: “I am always hoping that mum might recognise me.

“If you don’t get any recognition it is a bit disappointing, so I try to keep my expectations low.”

For the past three years, Carolyn has been in a specialist care home for people with dementia near Norwich.

Carolyn began to develop dementia in her seventies.

She was a talented cook but once served raw chicken casserole to the family.

The family were forced to send her to a home – the last resort – when she was found wandering miles from home trying to find her deceased parents.

Ed says: “The acute moment I remember was in 2018 when she was found wondering the streets of Norwich.

“I was in an airport lounge in Singapore, my brother was in California and my sister was in Nottingham and we had to make a plan because my dad could no longer cope.”

Tragically, there was a big outbreak of Covid in Carolyn’s home in January and more than half the people on her wing died in seven days.

Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls on BBC Two

In this two-part BBC Two series, Ed Balls explores the crisis in the care sector, immersing himself in a care home before entering the world of paid and unpaid home care.

In part one of two, Ed spent time living and working in St Cecilia’s care homes.

Episode two sees him turn his attention to domiciliary care, as many millions more people are being looked after in their own homes.

He shadows a professional carer on his 14-hour-day as he makes 16 home visits, discovering the financial hardships, emotional tolls and daily frustrations that carers often face.

Understandably, Ed wanted to film the series because of his mum and his own experiences in care homes.

Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls concludes on Monday November 15 2021 at 9pm on BBC One.

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