BBC News

Changing the lives of people with dementia

image copyrightLeah Beach
image captionMujananita is very prominent in his Kenyan village. His wife, who is helping to dress him, says: "He has forgotten his way in the village where he has spent his entire life" and that he "can’t remember how to dress and hold a fork". Until very recently, people in his village did not know what dementia was. They did not know why he was acting differently, but through awareness he is now getting greater support and he will have a better quality of life.
image copyrightCathy Greenblat
image captionWhen Didi first came to the Nightingales Dementia Day Care in Bangalore, India, she was extremely depressed, lonely and frequently confined to her wheelchair. Now she is much healthier and one of the most sociable participants. She is seen here with Ashwan, a member of staff at the centre.
image copyrightSimon Rawles
image captionTerry is living with dementia. He and his wife, originally from Hong Kong, found his diagnosis process very stressful. Terry's behaviour has changed a lot, making it difficult for others to support his wife with caring for him in their home. A Chinese-focused health centre in London now supports them both to live well.
image copyrightLeah Beach
image captionSarah (not her real name) cares for her older sister, who lives with advanced dementia in South Africa. Their family believe that both are cursed - the sister because of the symptoms of her dementia, and Sarah, because she has not abandoned her. Sarah has taken her own young daughter out of school to help with caring duties and to save money to support the family.
image copyrightLeah Beach
image captionA resident sits in a private centre for those with dementia whose families are unwilling or unable to take care of their loved ones in Guatemala. Many of the residents are homeless or abandoned by their families. More than 30 residents are looked after by only three carers. Despite scarce funds, all the residents now have meals and a bed in which to sleep.
image copyrightCathy Greenblat
image captionAs her cognitive difficulties increase, Maria is finding it more difficult to continue to live in her small home in her Santo Domingo barrio in the Dominican Republic. She is coming to realise the necessity of moving to a rural area where she has family, but the idea of leaving her home of many years is painful.
image copyrightCathy Greenblat
image captionFamilies across Ghana can face discrimination in communities that do not understand dementia. Doris’s family was torn apart when her father, Benjamin, developed dementia. Misunderstandings of the condition led to the community accusing Benjamin of being a wizard after his eldest son died in a tragic accident. These images were commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society, which seeks to champion global action on dementia.

Related Topics

  • Alzheimer's
  • Photography
  • Dementia