The Stupid Things We Say to People in Dementialand

Much that we all should consider in this piece, alongside the language that many people use to describe dementia. The comparison with responses to other serious illness is very valid.

When Dementia Knocks

In the spring, I asked for my loyal readers to send me some questions in hopes of finally achieving my adolescent dream of being an advice columnist. I received more questions than I expected. From the bottom of the heart, thank you. You guys really are the best.

Sure, I answered some. Yet many of them I didn’t answer—not because they weren’t great questions. In fact, maybe they were too good. I was left shaking my head, thinking “Wow. That sucks. And I have nothing to offer you.”

Several readers emailed me about something that tends to happen when people “come out” with their dementia to family and friends. It’s an issue I’ve thought about a lot. I’ve wanted to offer advice to the individuals with dementia and their caregivers, but I didn’t know what to say. It finally occurred to me that I was focusing on the wrong group…

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Author: ReminiScent

I write about using the senses to improve quality of life for people living with dementia. The sense of smell, in particular, is very important to me personally. My career in the perfume industry turned me into a fragrance enthusiast and the 5 years I spent as the main carer for Shirley, my mother who lived with dementia for 10 years, taught me the value of creating moments of joy to anyone living with this disease. I hope that, through ReminiScent and my writing, I can increase awareness of how small actions can make a big difference.

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