South Africa: Social Development commemorates World Alzheimer’s Day in Eastern Cape

Today marks World Alzheimer’s Day, celebrated annually on September 21.

Organizations around the world are focusing their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

As part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, will commemorate World Alzheimer’s Day today in Cacadu, Cape Province Oriental.

The commemoration aims to raise awareness of the disease and its impact on the lives and well-being of families, especially the elderly, who are often killed by members of their community due to a lack of understanding of the disease. .

Considered the most common cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a physical illness that directly affects the brain, leading to the eventual death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines dementia as a chronic disease that results from an interaction of genetic, environmental and behavioral factors, with serious negative influences on social and physical activities and quality of life. Dementia is considered one of the main causes of disability in the elderly.

The Department for Social Development says the Eastern Cape has seen a rise in the number of elderly people who have been brutally killed after being accused of witchcraft.

“Recent community dialogues, held in the Cacadu and Cofimvaba regions, revealed that elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease in Chris Hani district have resorted to abandonment of villages, some sleep in groups in order to feel safe and protected,” the department said.

Joel C. Hicks