Memory Café in Ibadan
The memory café was established as part of our awareness building campaign in support of all elderly people living with Dementia in Nigeria. What is a “Memory Café”? A Memory Café provides a place where any member of the public, who feel that they, or a person they know, may have a short-term memory problem, can drop in without an appointment, and talk to an experienced volunteer or a professional. Memory Cafés provide strong levels of stimulation for the service users and an opportunity for carers to exchange experiences and information.
The main themes for the event was Health Care, Communication, and Community Involvement for people living with dementia in Nigeria. Of course other topics came up including wider social policy and aging strategies for Nigeria.
Dr O M Lawal representing the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health was given a thorough yet good-humoured grilling by participants when he gave his address. He also had the audience cheering as he delivered his keynote address.
Professor Aduke Adebayo, Purple Angel Ambassador, spoke about her passion for what we do, and imploring the community to help get rid of the stigma that plagues People Living with Dementia and their loved ones in Nigeria.
The Community Womens’ Leader attending talked about the need to spread awareness amongst all communities, as she herself had always thought that dementia was “spirits” at work, but she is beginning to understand more.
Professor Ogunsheye, Purple Angel Ambassador, challenged Dr Lawal as to why Nigeria still does not have a policy on ageing. Dr Lawal answered that it is early days for the new Federal administration. He explained that Oyo State has policies in place, and has had for years. He cited examples of work being done by the Governor’s wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi to ensure free health care across the State for the elderly.
Local Doctors also took part as did Community Leaders and as ever we were supported by the enthusiastic Nigeria Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Other group discussions and informal consultations took place. Kikelomo Laniyonu Edwards and Professor Baiyewu made time to discuss the AD8 Dementia Screening test and other tools she obtained through the Dementia Knowledge Exchange Global.
We also had a great time.
A big thank you to everyone who helped and who pledged to continue supporting. We also have to extend a big thank you to Norman McNamara, the founder of the Purple Angel Movement.
Norman McNamara a resident of Torbay, Devon, UK was diagnosed with dementia at only 50 years of age. Whilst out shopping one day he was rudely spoken to by a shopkeeper and decided to change the way people see dementia and treat others. The rest is history as Purple Angel Ambassadors spread the message of tolerance, acceptance, understanding and compassion for people living with dementia. Together we are making a difference. Worldwide.