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Report: Turks with dementia forget German

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Report: Turks with dementia forget German
Photo: DPA
11:26 CEST+02:00
A old age home in Berlin's Neukölln neighbourhood is dealing with an unexpected problem - immigrants with dementia who forget how to speak German.

The home houses only people with a Turkish background and all but one of the residents has forgotten how to speak German, the Berliner Zeitung reported on Saturday.

At the moment there are seven residents in the 200-square-metre home in a largely ethnic neighbourhood.

There are many homes in Berlin for people suffering from dementia, but only those with a Turkish background live in the flat. They include two couples, widows and a divorced woman, some of whom worked on industrial assembly lines or in other factory jobs.

The residents are first generation Turkish guest workers. Most wanted to spend their retirement years back in Turkey, but stayed because their children and friends were in Berlin.

These immigrants learned German, but have forgotten how to speak it with the onset of dementia, the paper wrote.

The demand for such facilities is growing, said Selviye Spriewald, owner of the caregiver service that provides dementia care in the home.

In addition to the Neukölln facility she operates another one in the northwest section of Berlin and will open two new ones this September.

The Local/mw

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