In the Pacific Islands, there generally aren't widely available social services that assist with dementia and other mental health patients, however, a family member is almost always available to stay home and look after their loved one. In Aotearoa, the high cost of living and the reliance on working 9-5 jobs means that family members are rarely able to stay home to look after the elderly. This often creates stress in many families because the older generation who migrated later in life don't fully understand the pressures that younger people live under which can result in disappointment or feelings of abandonment. Aotearoa has a vast array of social services available, but the Pasifika community is often unaware of them for a variety of reasons.
I wanted to document this topic in order to shed light on these issues, and to show a little glimpse into the life of my mother in law. Thanks to Re: News for showcasing part of my ongoing project.
In photos: living with a mother with dementia
Tāmaki Makaurau-based photographer Todd Henry captured these photos of his mother-in-law, Nisi, who lives with dementia. The images show love, care and all the little details that go into a family.