Friday, August 15, 2008
I would like to write about one of the taboo subjects, Dementia. Malays called it 'Gila' or for old people, 'Nyanyok'.
There are many kinds of dementia, Alzheimer's, stroke related, drugs, etc, that causes the human brain to start deteriorating and became damaged.
Why is it a taboo subject?
I think it is just a cultural thing, people are ashamed when their family members act demented and tend to hide these kind of people. In the old days, they erected a small bamboo cage behind the house and chained these people inside.
Sad to say, these behavious continue today. No, we do not chain these people anymore, but we send them to Tanjung Rambutan/Tampoi...specialized hospitals to cater to these people. No, I do agree that it is hard to actually play caretaker to these kind of people and it is better (for some) that they are send to these special places. However, I am really against the family that conveniently 'forgot' that they have a family member at these places and never acknowledge the poor guy/gal.
All in the name to safeguard their family's honor....Some people even file for divorce when found out that their life partner do have a member of the family that is afflicted with this shameful 'disease'.
It is a sad, sad day when the favorite grand nephew do not even want to visit the poor grandma when she is down after a debilitating stroke. He is not afraid to meet the grandma coz she could barely recognise him now, or even that she can barely sit down on her own...no...he is totally afraid that he will be asked to take care of the grandma. And it happened in our oh so berbudi-bahasa culture.
What will YOU do when you are faced with the decision whether to take care of a dementia patient, especially the person is one of your LOVED ONES?
If it is vice-versa, and you found out that YOU have dementia?
More on dementia :
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The race of man shall perish, but the eyes
Of trilobytes eternal in stone,
And seem to stare about in mild surprise
At changes greater than they have yet known.
- T.A. Conrad
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
- William Blake,
excerp from Auguries of Innocence.