& CARE PROVIDERS
The Flipping Stigma on its Ear Toolkit
was developed by an Action Group of people with dementia to address the stigma and discrimination that so frequently accompanies a diagnosis of dementia.
We invite you to explore the toolkit and consider your own interactions with people with dementia. Whether you are a family member, caregiver, health care professional or member of the community, we hope that you learn from the words of those with lived experience. We anticipate that hearing their voices will be insightful and influence your future interactions with those who live with dementia.
HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AS YOU NAVIGATE THROUGH THE TOOLKIT:
Are there ways that I have made people with dementia feel incapable?
Can I think of a time when I may have spoken on behalf of someone with dementia without first checking with them to ensure that this was okay?
Have I ever assumed that someone with dementia is not capable of doing something just because I know they have a diagnosis?
What are ways that I can communicate respect and dignity when I am with someone with dementia?
TIPS FOR DOCTORS &
OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
FROM ACTION GROUP MEMBERS LIVING WITH DEMENTIA
Talk to the person, not their caregiver or spouse.
Don't make assumptions.
Because everyone is different, be prepared to learn from the people who are your patients and acknowledge the journey that is dementia.
Listen to your patients, know them and believe them.
Don't get defensive or dismissive of genuine concerns you might hear from people.
Encourage people to find purpose in their lives.
It is important to acknowledge that people can live "well" with dementia for many years after diagnosis.
Be aware of available community and dementia-specific supports. Have pamphlets and resources handy, especially for people who are newly diagnosed.
Sometimes the person you are working with might not "look like a person living with dementia."
Regardless as to how a person looks, try to give them more time and adequate explanations.
Consider a longer appointment for patients with dementia. Be open to patients audio recording their appointments and consider writing down main points for them.