Ex Nigerian Minister, Josephine Anenih opens Dementia Centre in Benin
London, Dec. 27, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Mrs. Josephine Anenih, the proprietress of Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation (ADF), has inaugurated a Senior Citizens Recreation Centre in Benin City, the Edo State capital, to cater for the aged as well as to alleviate the impact of dementia in the society.
The inauguration of the centre, which attracted large number of senior citizens in Benin City, started with nine lessons and carols after which the old men and women present danced to pop music, putting their old age aside.
Mrs. Anenih, while explaining her motivation for establishing the centre situated at Oloke Drive, off Aikhionbare Street, GRA Benin, said, “In most communities in Nigeria, we tend to find it very difficult to understand what is going on with people suffering from dementia.
“More often than not, affected individuals are described as people who have mental disorders and are so maltreated or are seen as people who are watches and wizards which is one of the reasons why many old people who have dementia were stoned to death in the past.”
Mrs. Anenih said her Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation believed that the first thing that needed to be done is to enlighten the people to let them know that dementia is a medical condition that can happen to anybody getting old depending on his or her genetic composition and some other factors.
“It is neither a manifestation of witchcraft nor a mental disorder and once we have that understanding, we are starting from somewhere,” she said.
Secondly, according to her, “it is one thing to have an understanding about what the problem of dementia is with aged father or genetic mother, it is another thing to have access to care.
“Are there places to take people who are suffering from dementia to and when they are taking to the place, are they going to receive the best medical attention and what about the affordability? These are issues to be addressed.”