September is about REMEMBER ME

Today we remember Hein who has Frontal Temporal Dementia.

This means Hein only hears the first 2/3 words of a sentence and then he hears nothing. So a sentence sounds like this to Hein: “Hein please lay blah blah blah blah…” You get the picture…

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Hein to the left in the brown jersey

Hospitals are very scary places to people with dementia. They don’t understand all the pipes that they they need after an operation and will more often than not, pull the pipes out.

So, for me Berrie, to take Hein to doctor is a big occasion. But Dr Dodd is a very special person. And so I arrived with Hein at the doctor’s rooms. True to his identity, Hein circled the rooms investigating every corner with his sweets and chips close at hand.

Doctor Dodd had to examine Hein while standing. (No sitting for Hein!) It turns out Hein has a hernia. Luckily he only needs treatment and not an operation. So we are sent to Danette, a wonderful orthopedic assistant who treats and helps Hein with a great deal of patience and love.

Hein with his wife and three daughters

Hein with his wife and three daughters

 

2014: The Year in Review (3)

2014: The Year in Review (3)

What we discovered:

It came to light that many Africans and also the world seems to think that brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Bodies etc. does not exist here in Namibia (Africa). But why?

The first reason I formulated one day after randomly meeting a German tourist in Etosha. He stopped next to me, rolling down his window and looked at the sticker on my door. He said: “Am I really reading what I think I am reading?” I asked him what it is he thinks he is reading. He asked: “Is there dementia in Africa?” I laughed as I responded: “Well, in Africa, like all over the world, people have brains. And if you have a brain, you can get brain diseases.” He was somewhat embarrassed but then explained himself by saying that from his medical background he knows that Africans and especially here in Namibia, there is a very low life expectancy (57 for men and 59 for women). So how can there be brain diseases? Well, you see, brain diseases like Alzheimer’s are not limited to the aged. This is a fairly common misconception and secondly, the life expectancy is an average brought down by a very high infant mortality rate. So yes, people do get old in Namibia (Africa) and no, it is not only the elderly that suffers from brain diseases.

The second reason is that people from around the world seem to think that the black African cultures have not discovered the Western world’s foods and medicines. (This is only my perception and not based on any facts.) And since the rest of the world is discovering what all the food and medicine do to our systems, they think that Africans cannot possibly have the same problems as they don’t eat and drink like they do. The truth is that our black cultures are using and abusing the same food and medicines that the rest of the world is using, but without the necessary precautions.

To be Continued….

We believe…

… Every person has:

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Alzheimer’s Dementia Namibia

  • The right to be free: Unchained might it be physical by chain, rope or cloth or chemical by drugs and sedatives.
  • The right not to be isolated for whatever reason
  • The right to do whatever you can still do and prefer to do
  • The right to live on your own as long as possible and it is safe for you.
  • The right to quality of life
  • The right to be heard and to hear
  • The right to be part of the community/ a family
  • The right to die in a dignified way

The Spectre of Dementia and Memory Loss

Sanjiva Wijesinha

dymentiaDementia, defined as the loss of one’s mental capacity, has been shown by recent surveys to be the disease most feared by people over 65.

This may well be a rational fear as the idea of losing independence, cognition, and personal memories as we age is something that takes away our very sense of self. A person who develops Dementia in effect would cease to exist mentally but still be alive physically – so in some respects the condition is even worse than death itself. As our population in this country ages and we become more aware of loved ones and people we know losing their mental faculty as they get older, it is important that we understand what the early signs of Dementia are and have an idea of what it means to suffer from this terrible and soul-destroying condition.

Dementia is not confined to any specific ethnic or…

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