As part of Dementia Awareness Month, Alzheimer’s Australia have launched a tool kit to support their work on dementia friendly communities. One of the documents supporting this is the updated Alzheimers Australia language guidelines 2014. I am highlighting some of them here as well, and will add the comprehensive guidelines when they are available..
WHEN TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA
A person/people with dementia
A person/people living with dementia
A person/people with a diagnosis of dementia
DO NOT USE
Offenders, absconders or perpetrators
Patient (when used outside the medical context)
He/she’s fading away or disappearing
Not all there
Losing him/her or someone who has lost their mind
He/she’s an attention seeker
Inmates (referring to people with dementia in care facilities)
An onion with the layers peeling away
Slang expressions that are derogatory, for example, delightfully dotty, away with the fairies, got a kangaroo loose in the back paddock, a couple of cents short.
‘They’ (talking about all people with dementia rather than the individual)
A CARER, FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND OF A PERSON WITH DEMENTIA (About themselves)
Living alongside (someone/ a person/my partner/my mother etc) who has dementia
Living with/caring for/supporting a person who has dementia
Living with/caring for/supporting a person with a diagnosis of dementia
Living with the impact of dementia
DO NOT USE
Person living with dementia if you are a carer or someone supporting a person diagnosed with dementia – it is only the person diagnosed who is living with dementia who is living with dementia, in the same way you would not say you are living with asthma or cancer, if you were not the one diagnosed with it.