Wilfried Devillers, edited by Laura Laplaud / Photo credits: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP 09:04, September 21, 2023Every day, Europe 1 looks at an everyday idea or problem. On the occasion of World Alzheimer's Day, which affects nearly a million people in France, Europe 1 gives a voice to the two million people who care for these patients. Relatives, most often the child or spouse of the patient.
In France, Alzheimer's would affect nearly a million people. A neurodegenerative disease that affects memory and intellectual faculties. More than two million people care for these patients. Relatives, most often the child or spouse of the patient. Caregivers for whom accompaniment is a daily task that is often tedious. At the microphone of Europe 1, they tell their daily lives.
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"I'm in the daily repetition of things and it's very tiring"
For seven years, the memory of Christelle's father has been deteriorating month after month. At 78, he now forgets what they just said to each other a few minutes ago. "He forgets that he ate so he eats again, he forgets that he slept so he sleeps again... These big memory losses are every day. I'm in the daily repetition of things and it's very tiring. And he does not realize it because five minutes later, he has already forgotten what happened, "says Christelle.
Christelle also evokes moments of crises, anxieties, anger that add to memory loss. This is also what Alain, who has been helping his mother who has been suffering from Alzheimer's for 15 years, is experiencing. "I spend the night there. Some nights can be very good and others very chaotic. Alarm clocks every half hour for example or she does not sleep all night and she calls me. These are very difficult phases," he said.
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"He can tell me 'I don't know if my wife is coming' while I'm next to him"
Beyond the accompaniment, there is also the sadness of the caregivers. That of seeing her loved ones forget who they are, as Sylvie explains, that her husband does not always recognize. "He can very well say to me 'I don't know if my wife is coming' while I'm next to him. I tell him, 'I'm next to you', 57 years of marriage... It hurts, we have trouble accepting, "she slips at the microphone of Europe 1. In France, 2% to 4% of those over 65 are affected by Alzheimer's and up to 23% of those over 80.