20 Things NOT to Say or Do to a Person with Dementia
posted on September 11, 2017
Sometimes when interacting with someone living with dementia it is often difficult to know what to say and do. It can be really frightening and frustrating for both parties.
This list of 20 things not to say or do with a to a person with dementia was created by Kate Swaffer who was diagnosed with a form of early onset dementia at the age of 49. Now 59, Kate has been a tireless advocate for those living with dementia. Since her diagnosis she has completed two undergraduate degrees (psychology and creative writing), a Masters of Science in Dementia Care and is currently working on a PhD.
Kate created this list based on her own experiences and those of hundreds of people living with dementia that she communicates with online, by email and in person. She states that “We almost all feel that many of the terms and words like sufferer are disabling and disempowering, as well as offensive in the same way as the word retarded. Yet some others still feel a right to tell us our feeling are wrong, and we have not right to make claims or requests about how we would like to be spoken to.”
You can find a in-depth interview with this remarkable woman here . Kate has her own website focused on dialogue about the issues that affect people living with a diagnosis of dementia and their loved ones here
Explaining Dementia Through the Bookcase Analogy
The video below, from Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme in the UK, does a wonderful job of explaining dementia using a bookcase for comparison. It gives you a real feel for some of the changes people with dementia are going through and explains part of the biology of it in very simple terms. It also explains why it is important to help even those with advanced dementia, with activities that they enjoy. It is easy to think that it's not worth visiting someone who won't remember that you were even there. But, as the video points out, for example, in the case of...