Vignettes - Mr Gabriel and his family, current experience

Mr Gabriel is in his late 60s, is from a Black ethnic group, and lives with his son’s family at the top of an urban slum (‘favela’) in Rio de Janeiro. Mr Gabriel has diabetes, and is insulin dependent. He also has hypertension, arthritis, and chronic pain. Due to all these health issues, Mr Gabriel has increasingly avoided going down the favela hill as the streets are tortuous and have led Mr Gabriel to fall several times in the past. The high levels of violence also prevents Mr Gabriel from getting out and about as he has lost a son during a shooting. Mr Gabriel stays most days on his own as his son/daughter-in-law are working and his grandchildren are in school. Mr Gabriel feels as if he is a burden to his family, so he tries to avoid ‘complaining’ to them about his health needs. He has been feeling different recently, with mood swings, memory lapses, and dizziness. He is really scared about what could happen to him, which has made him feel really upset and lonely for several weeks already.


Mr. Gabriel would probably continue in this situation for a little while and his symptoms would be faced as normal part of ageing until his son or daughter-in-law noticed something that called their attention, such as serious memory loss (e.g. forgetting the oven on). Mr. Gabriel’s several health issues would likely mask his dementia symptoms […]

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