These photographs show what it's like to live with dementiaAt a residential home in Kathmandu, 28 people from different families are living together. What do they have in common? Majority of them are elderly women suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 78,000 Nepalis suffer from dementia, a neurodegenerative disease which causes memory impairment, loss of cognitive and social skills, and eventually, the ability to live an independent life, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease International, a federation of Alzheimer’s associations around the world. As the disease progresses, Alzheimer’s patients are unable to perform even the most basic tasks—brushing teeth, taking a shower, going to the toilet, eating — on their own. Caregivers thus play a major role in the life of an Alzheimer’s patient.
Because Alzheimer’s patients often suffer from behavioural abnormalities, which may include being physically and verbally aggressive, hoarding stuff, loss of bowel control, engaging in improper sexual behaviour, and wandering around without any sense of the place they’re in, they’re often confused to have a mental illness. This has led to the stigma surrounding the disease.
The Post visited a residential home in Kathmandu, where 28 people are receiving care round the clock.