· cameraman Rainer Friedrich image videos, TV-reports, documentaries

Director:Wolfgang Luck
Camera:Rainer Friedrich
Sound:Martin Geissmann, Thorsten Czart
Editing:Karl-Heinz Satzger
Production Company:a&o buero
First Broadcasted:May 8, 2013

“The World of Oblivion” (Die Welt des Vergessens)

DasErste, 30 minutes

This reportage introduces a pilot project in the city of Chiang Mai (Thailand): ten Alzheimer patients live together in a residential project, integrated in the quite normal village life. Each of them has his own house and three nurses who lovingly care for the „guest“ around the clock.

Manfred S. is one of them. As a successful engineer he has seen the world, spoke five languages. Then the diagnosis: Alzheimer – dementia. In Germany, the doctors had predicted him only two years lifetime. His wife Hilde did not resign herself. She went in search of the best possible care for her husband. And found it at the other end of the world – in Thailand.

Hilde S. knows the allegations that she had deported her husband when he was a nuisance. But she does not accept. She didnt deport him, she saved him, she sais. Because in Germany Manfred S. had been sedated with psychiatric drugs. He was a hopeless case who had, at best, to live a few more months, the doctors said at the time.

This was five years ago. Today Manfred lives in Thailand without psychiatric drugs, lovingly cared for by his nurse Dai, who never leaves his side. They go together to the market, visit the temple and village festivals.

And no one looks wrong at them. Respect for the aged and loving care for the needy – that is part of the tradition in Thailand. „He is almost like an own Grandpa“, Dai says. And his wife Hilde is several months a year in Thailand to be near her husband.

The pilot project in Chiang Mai attracts also many nursing experts from Germany who want to learn something for their own everyday care. One of them is nursing scientist Dr. Wolfgang Kramer. He is delighted with the high staffing ratio. But he is also warning: as for the education of nurses there were deficiencies in Thailand.

Author Wolfgang Luck accompanied Kramer to Germany: there he visited a dancing school in Cologne, where he witnesses a afternoon „Dacing with Dementia“. He notes that also demented people can express joy of life.

In a care facility in Ulm for the first time a robot in the shape of a seal was applied. It should build an emotional bridge to people suffering from dementia. Technology instead of human care: can this be a solution for the problems of our aging society?