Why are people so weird

Why is my grandma so weird?

We explain to you what the disease dementia is

People with dementia sometimes forget to turn off the stove. Some people write memories on pieces of paper. Photo: dpa

You must have forgotten your homework before. That happens and it doesn't matter. This only becomes a problem when people are pathologically constantly forgetting things. This is called dementia. Our child reporters Sophia (9) and Noemie (10) from Schwabach gave the title “Dementia in old age. Or: Why are grandma or grandpa so weird? ”Written down for you.


Many people forget something, but people with dementia also forget the most important things. Dementia is Greek and means "away from the mind". Incidentally, the disease rarely occurs. Only five percent of all people are sick. If you take 100 people, only five of them have dementia and 95 are healthy.


At the children's university at the Johannes Helm School in Schwabach, Professor Christine Brendebach from the Evangelical University of Nuremberg showed us photos of a healthy and a diseased brain. In the healthy one you see a lot of “gray matter”: a mass that you can think with. A sick person has many cracks and black holes. Everyone has memories - but where there are cracks, the memory is suddenly gone.


The child reporters Noemie and Sophia. Photo: Fischer

If you have dementia, the brain slowly degrades, for example you forget what someone or something is called. Because of this, contacts with other people are often disrupted. It can happen that the grandma no longer knows who her grandchild is. This is also called agnosia. For example, some old people say “things” to a stuffed animal because they can't remember the word.


Often people can no longer speak properly, this is called aphasia. They just forget certain letters. "Some people with dementia put their shoes in the refrigerator or comb their hair with a toothbrush," says Ms. Brendebach. Some people grill their meat on the iron as well. Such disorders are called apraxia. "There was once a woman who took her grandchildren's dolls pram because she thought she was a child herself," says Ms. Brendebach.


What people with dementia can remember for a long time are, for example, music or a certain melody. Many people with dementia write notes on which they write down memories. For example: “Switch off the stove!” Or “Feed the dog!”. But sometimes they forget that too.

Incidentally, the disease cannot be cured. But you can help people by always being nice to them. Also, you shouldn't keep improving and distracting them. You can say, for example, that the dog is still in the bushes and will come right back when a woman is looking for him - even though he has long been dead. Maybe then you will tell her something nice.