The story of Mr Rahmon Lawal is a reminder that we will all grow old one day, but for some people it comes with heavy price of dementia.
Mr Lawal went to mosque on the evening of 24th November and failed to return home. He is 76 years old suffering from memory loss, the family are aware of his condition and are said to be helping him cope. They are still searching for him around Egbeda, Lagos with his photos printed so people can help in the search.
I hope Mr Lawal is reunited with his family soon.
It is encouraging to read that Pa Lawal’s children knew about their father’s disease especially in a society such as ours that understanding of dementia in elderly is not a common knowledge.
I dare say, Pa Lawal is lucky to be a man, at least the chance of finding him in one piece is higher than if she were to be a woman.
Twice last year alone, two old woman were stripped naked, both in Lagos. One was half burnt by ignorant crowd, the other must have been in her 80s but was lucky as children showed up just in time – both were accused of being in witchcraft flying in broad day light simply because they looked old and could not recollect anything traceable about their lives.
Stupidity of humanity is indeed infinite.
On a more positive note, I found out that there was a recent event in Ibadan whereby Memory Cafe promoting dementia awareness was lunched. Not that Nigerians are new to Alzheimer’s patients, it is just that we have always associated it with something completely unrelated.
The hope is that the message will keep spreading to educate more people on the need to be more understanding to elder folks suffering from memory loss.
Getting more interesting, I also found out about Rossetti Care home in Ibadan where elderly people can be looked after especially for those who need extra hand coping with day to day activities. I thought this is a step forward at least a good choice for children who are away from home and could afford to put their elderly where they will be looked after.
I really do hope that Pa Lawal’s family is able to locate him in the end.
It is comforting to know that despite the resistance to change from old beliefs, folks are learning the reality that sometimes come with growing old, the more we understand, the kinder our world will be.