Tru here. I was recently asked my opinion on how to stop stigmatizing behaviors and attitudes.
After thinking about this question I guess I’d like to change the perspective.
When someone is singing out of tune it hurts, so it is easy for us to put them down – without recognizing in a positive way; Hey! They are SINGING !
I believe that, for the well-being of all concerned to stay in the realm of reality, it actually IS important to recognize the negative aspects of life with dementia and deal with them – but also to (like the 40’s song) accentuate the positives wherever possible; the CAN do of life.
So often we address issues with “don’t!”, “can’t”, and “shouldn’t” … often creating more relationship problems than we solve. For the stigma issue I would rather avoid that result.
One of our daughters is a very very basic teacher – a pre-school teacher. She regularly reminds us that it may be a slower process but it is almost always better to give alternatives, redirect, or to … turn the behavior upside-down and request the OPPOSITE behavior.
In this case, I suggest we change the conversation from how can we “avoid” stigma for Persons With Dementia … into how can we ENCOURAGE respect for Persons With Dementia?
For me personally, that is why I spend a good part of each day gathering, categorizing, and sharing projects from Persons With Dementia; the products from those with diminishing cognitive abilities may not be Earth-shattering, but a Person With Dementia can be held up as a Mentor, as a Resource, as an Author, as an Artist, even as an ENCOURAGER when they smile. Last year my friends and I created a “Success Stories” booklet, and it reflects the fact; we each have an appropriate level of “success” and the point is … Each human is worthy of respect.
Personally, I would rather not see respect DEMANDED because that, in itself, to me feels demeaning.
I would like to see the conversation change from a more politically-controlling conversation into a more positive context. It is really simple and true of all humanity; we ALL need to receive respect … and Persons With Dementia are no different. You know the song; R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Appropriate Links (in the order I found them when searching thru my records):
Richard Taylor at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyp8rgH4MtU & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1iEbm44S70 ;
Harry Urban at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/harry-urban/advocacy-pt-prspectv-2015-nov-dec/ ;
Christine Bryden at http://slideplayer.com/slide/4469695/ ;
George Huba PhD at http://hubaisms.com/2015/09/07/do-not-assume-that-a-person-with-dementia-a-mindmap/ ;
Linda Pendergrass at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/linda-pendergrass/july-2015/ ;
Michael Ellenbogen at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/michael-ellenbogen/july-2015/ ;
Cecil Ristow at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/prejudice-toward-pwd/ ;
Faith Riverstone at https://stilllifewithdementia.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/stigma-welcome-to-dementia/ ;
Kate Swaffer at http://kateswaffer.com/tag/stigma/ ;
Ken Clasper at http://ken2clasper.blogspot.com/2015/07/dementia-and-advertising.html?spref=fb ;
Agnes Houston at https://vimeo.com/122528299 ;
Amy Shives at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ0xojJYsHc&feature=youtu.be ;
Kathy Ryan at http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/pain-of-stigma-a-reality-for-people-with-dementia-334525.html ;
Mary Beth Wighton at https://uwaterloo.ca/murray-alzheimer-research-and-education-program/blog/post/why-do-you-not-believe-me
Cindy Stolz-Odell at http://www.ftdnoflowers.blogspot.com/2015/08/why-can-no-one-hear-me.html ;
Brian LeBlanc at https://vimeo.com/136100073 ;
Jarem Sawatsky at http://www.jaremsawatsky.com/letting-go/ ;
Norman McNamara at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=WC4INldUvWc&app=desktop ;
Tammy Bellamy at http://www.northernlife.ca/news/localNews/2016/01/10-dementia-campaign-sudbury.aspx ;
Greorge Rook at https://georgerook51.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/downstairs-at-downton-hospital/ ;
Cynthia Guzman at https://www.facebook.com/dementia.symptom.perspectives/posts/1132227446793530 ;
Helga Rohra at http://my-klug-dumm.blogspot.com/2015/06/standup-speak-up-ein-leben-mit-demenz.html?spref=fb (written in German but option to read in English if you open with Google Chrome browser) ;
* Admin issues: SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. If interested in receiving notice of future blog postings, subscriptions are available through a “follow” button in the upper left corner (MS Explorer) or lower right (Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Chrome). If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. My own full legal name is Truthful Loving Kindness. My current diagnosis is Mild Cognitive Impairment, but my neurologist said I am in a unique position for helping because I have “one foot in each door”. Text for this page took 2.5 hrs. +1hr finding links; (graphic not included in time); Copyright 2016-03/26.
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Another great perspective Tru which makes a lot of sense 🙂
Totally agree with you Tru! In most aspects of life A Negative creates another Negative. Positive communication and vocabulary distracts from – rather than focusing on the negative.
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great elaboration on subject, Laurie; THANKS 😀
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