2017 Dementia Awareness Week is fast approaching
Members of Kent’s Dementia Action Alliance will be busy during Dementia Awareness Week promoting Living well with dementia as well as encouraging a community response by promoting the Kent ‘Working to Become Dementia Friendly’ (WTBDF) symbol for local businesses, organisations and groups.
We hope that Kent’s Press and Media will support us in ensuring that this work is widely shared.
It is with this in mind that we have pulled this page together as we want to support the ‘Media’ by equipping them with information, tips and guidance which will make their job easier and their stories more palatable for those living with this condition.
Quite frequently we find that press and media use phrases and terminology which can cause distress and offence to those living with dementia, obviously this is never the intention.
We want to encourage Kent’s Press and Media to be the first in the UK to have a blanket wide approach to using language which is less harmful.
An excellent guide has been developed by DEEP (The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment project) working alongside people living with dementia, you can download their guide from the link to the left of the page.
Despite these guidelines being issued in 2015 people are still not taking notice – We want Kent to be different!
Essentially from these guidelines:
There are a number of words, descriptions and phrases which people have identified, should never be used to describe dementia or people with dementia.
These are words that have been used in print media over the last couple of years.
These were considered to be ‘curl up and die’ words:
- words that make people physically flinch when they hear or read them!
- words that send out the message that a life with dementia is not worth living, that people are helpless and have nothing to contribute!
- words that are negatively attached to the person rather than the condition of dementia
- words that create stereotypes.
Words to avoid
- Dementia sufferer, Demented, Senile or senile dementia.
- Burden e.g. people are a burden or cause burden,
- Victim, Plague, Epidemic, Enemy of humanity, Living death e.g. dementia is a living death
Alternative words about people with dementia
- Person/people with dementia
- Person/people living with dementia
- Person/people living well with dementia
You can listen to some of Kent’s residents explaining how they feel about the words used – in particular the word ‘sufferer’ below (Click on the picture below and it will open the youtube page )
If you have any queries
or would like to know more about the work of the Kent Dementia Action Alliance please contact:
The Dementia Friendly Communities Team