What’s in a word? Well, quite a lot actually. The language we use when talking about someone can have a profound impact on them. Whether it’s well-meaning family or friends, or even an article in the newspaper or on TV, we know that people can struggle with how to talk about dementia. Below are some of the SDWG member's thoughts on the language used around dementia and how it makes them feel.
“Articles should refer to people ‘living with the condition’ rather than ‘suffering with dementia’ or using the term dementia sufferers.”
“When people say that dementia is ‘preventable’ it’s important that people with dementia don’t feel like they are being ‘blamed’ for their condition.”
“Using words like ‘old’ or ‘frailty’ – the image of people with dementia is generally that of an older person, but there are many younger people living with dementia and it’s important that people know that.”
“I hate it when people use generalised statements about people with dementia – we are all different.”
“I would like people to stop saying ‘it’s just memory problems’ when talking about dementia. There are many more symptoms.”