Alzheimer’s is not well known in Kenya despite the greater majority of our parents going down with it each day.
Our grandmother has it, and it’s been quite a load.
I wanted to gather recent information to share with my uncle and his wife, who are her primary caretakers. And I came across ALZkenya.org. They invited me for one of their support group meetings and what a meeting it turned out to be.
Why you should join a support group
Like in other issues:
- Emotional release: It helps to talk about issues you are facing.
- Empathy: It is a relief to listen to others talk about similar experiences.
- Information Pool: You can access contact information for clinicians that deal with ALZ.
- Training: You can access training to enable you be a better caretaker.
You will not find a textbook with the title: How to act when a family member has Alzheimer’s in Kenya- for dummies.
And many times you will be plagued with things that you may be doing wrong. Which you will find, it is really not your fault.
We are all dummies in this and lack of clear, open and accessible information about Alzheimer’s in Kenya is the cause. Many are just trying and erroing(sic), injuring themselves, the sick family member and all around in the process.
No one is to be blamed. Not serikali, not God, not yourself, not your other family members who suddenly started to behave funny. Reason is, ALZ is like a time bomb ticking faster than a clock, it is also the most confusing disease yet to be discussed.
One day things seem to be just fine, the next you can’t explain what happened or what is to be done.
Is it to get another doctor?
Or call the family together?
Or crawling under the bed to bowl like a five year old?
There is a way to fix this and it is only by getting as much knowledge about the disease as there is.
You will know everything from how to talk to a patient to how not to change the setting and plot (patient’s familiar surroundings.). That will be the theme for the next article.
(all pictures googled)