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Petra Stragies and her dogs help with dementia

2021-09-28T00:19:45.876Z

Weilheim - The changes often come slowly. Interests are lost, abilities decline, memory deteriorates. When the diagnosis of dementia is finally made, many of those affected and their relatives are overwhelmed and helpless. Petra Stragies tries to support her on her way to a new life with the disease. The messenger met with her.



Weilheim - The changes often come slowly. Interests are lost, abilities decline, memory deteriorates. When the diagnosis of dementia is finally made, many of those affected and their relatives are overwhelmed and helpless. Petra Stragies tries to support her on her way to a new life with the disease. The messenger met with her.

As a young woman, Petra Stragies studied social work. She dealt intensively with social gerontology, which focuses on questions of social relationships in old age, the social participation of older people and the safeguarding of their individual needs. Stragie's professional future was already being shaped at this time. Although she had also tried working with children, it quickly became clear to her: “I have lost my heart to the second half of life for people.” From then on, she devoted herself to senior citizens and their concerns.


When the Dortmund woman moved to Lake Ammersee for love in the late 1990s and finally to Weilheim in 2000, she noticed “that there is little or nothing for senior citizens here.” So she initially worked in the public sector; but the idea of ​​offering more for the elderly persisted. After her mother's death in 2003, she made a decision: “I just had to do what I thought was right and important,” recalls the 61-year-old. And so she founded the Alzheimer Society Pfaffenwinkel.


At first it didn't go well. Few people came and the financing was difficult to manage. Stragies, however, did not give up. “I am a fighter and wanted to prove that I could manage it.” When it was recognized as a low-threshold care offer in 2005, things looked better. The Alzheimer's Society in Weilheim is still a success today. Stragies is now taking early retirement and has handed over the association to her successors. "It was difficult and painful for me, but it was right." Because she was able to spend the time gained with her husband, who was seriously ill at the time. He died earlier this year.


But despite her grief, the widow looks confidently into the future.

Last year she founded the Alzheimer Society Lechrain together with Doris Kettner and has been doing volunteer work there ever since.

“There are always a lot of funny moments.

We can often laugh together, ”says Stragies, enjoying being with the demented people.

It is particularly important to her to accept people for who they are.

"We have a different view of the situation than the relatives and can accept the sick without ballast."

A smile on your face

An important stop for the Weilheimerin are her bitches. As early as 2004, the animal lover fulfilled her heart's desire and did an apprenticeship to visit seniors together with West Highland Terrier lady Sissi. Stroking, cuddling or taking short walks often cheer up sick people. Clinic visits are also possible. But time doesn’t leave Sissi without a trace either. The canine grandma needs more rest. She has therefore recently received support from the terrier mix Celia. She has also given the Stragies new energy after the loss of her husband. “I'm going out more,” she says happily. Not only privately, but also in the club, Stragies would like to deal with the dogs even more intensively in the future. She is currently training with Celia and a dog trainer,to put a smile on the face of sick seniors with both dogs.


But even without her animals, Stragies campaigns for dementia in many areas.

She advises, gives lectures, educates people about the disease in schools, visits museums or farms with those affected and their relatives, and on Saturday and tomorrow Sunday there is an action weekend on the subject of dementia in Schongau (information on this at www.alzheimer-lechrain. de).

With so much commitment to the elderly, there isn't much time left for other hobbies, Stragies admits.

To relax at home, she likes to read medieval novels.

But she prefers to be out and about and meet people: "I just need other people."

Pictures, videos and current events from your home country: visit the district messenger Weilheim-Schongau on Facebook.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-09-28

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