Jack Nicholson famously once said in a movie, “You can’t handle the truth”. For many, this is the reality, and being honest and direct is my biggest ‘weakness’ or ‘fault’. I’d have to say, I don’t actually care any more as I have never intended to be rude with my honesty, but many find it offensive as they either cannot handle the truth, do not want to hear the (my) truth, or don’t or won’t look in the mirror honestly. I regularly look in the mirror at my faults, and work on those that come from my dark side. It is hard work!
We all have a dark side, and can be unkind without meaning to be. That is worth working on, always, but telling a lie, just to make someone else happy, is not part of who I am. Being honest or true to me, does not always make it right for others. But, it is right for me. If I have interpreted something differently to others, that does not make me, or them, right or wrong. Just different.
I do have a lot of opinions about things related to dementia, especially the care of people with dementia, as many things that are happening currently are not best care, not good for us. The post diagnostic pathways currently offered to most of us are not only un[palatable, they are unethical. The disabling nature of many family carers and health care professionals does not support our abilities, but further disables us.
That stigma and discrimination are still rife is shocking, and unfortunately still very present in the health care sector, and amongst some carer and advocacy organisations and many individuals.
The disrespectful language, still being used by many, and argued by many as ok to use, even though they would NEVER call someone a retard, continues to astound me. It is not ok to say people can slip up on language, especially if they don’t slip up and call someone a retard… because that is offensive (to them).
The time is now to show respect and to embrace the language that so many with dementia say is offensive. Yes, we do suffer some of the time, but many of us are not living as if we are ‘sufferers’ or victims. It is not pure semantics, it is to do with basic human rights and respect.