Slow learners…

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.10.18 amThis is a simple, succinct quote on who’s got the problem in caring for or communicating with people with dementia, and if this point was taken seriously, and considered fully in the dementia sector, 90% of the so-called ‘challenging behaviours’ we are so negatively and glibly labelled with would probably never surface…

If you can’t understand us, and don’t take the time to work out how to communicate with us (that is your job, not ours), then no wonder so many with dementia end up displaying frustration, anger and eventually apathy and depression. If you were not listened to, and no-one bothered to try to understand you, you’d do the same…

20 thoughts on “Slow learners…

  1. So called challenging behaviours are simply a reaction. It is the job of care workers to discover the reason behind these reactions. When this is accomplished peace and satisfaction can be achieved. It is also the job of care workers to avoid these situations in the first place, it is important to know some history and likes and dislikes so we can accommodate what is needed for a peaceful outcome and not be in such a hurry to get ‘it done’. No body likes to be rushed or not listened to, I think if we put the shoe on the other foot then maybe the people who work with people with dementia may get a little insight into that world. Turn the tables and see how they feel. I realise they don’t have the same disadvantages of communication, but I bet they would get pretty frustrated all the same. Might be a good idea for a workshop for people who complain about ‘challenging behaviours’. Just a thought!


    • Totally agree Coralie… I’d like to run workshops, where we simply role play. That of course, would mean locking people without dementia up, and then, if they ‘behave’, using drugs to manage their behaviours after they start to find out how truly awful it is being locked away…


    • Yes, it does, and it is actually a bit sad too… so many assumptions have been made about people with dementia, and so much effort managing our ‘behaviours’ they have forgotten we are real people with feelings and responses to abnormal situations, and distress.


  2. What a great quote Kate and it actually applies to so many other people who have difficulty with our very verbal communication style – people with a disability, our children even!


  3. My Mum has dementia and each time she watches people with it on TV she says “Oh look at those poor people, thank God it’s not me”. Hilarious as she combs her hair with a spoon. If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.


    • Now Mandy, that did make me laugh… hope that’s ok? We find in this house, if we don’t laugh half the time we’d cry, so laugh we do! I intend, hope, want to write a comedy about dementia, as there is another side to it for sure. It’s also why we call having dementia being like a threesome, and I nicknamed this annoying threesome The Three Stooges!


  4. Right on Kate! Tell it like it is ’cause people are so distracted by trivia they probably need to hear it four or five times before it registers…How sad…Hang in there. The whole world is screaming to be understood right now. I hope one day soon we all get heard and are respected for who and what we are…Time to bring back appreciation into our vocabulary…Not enough of that going on….. Hugs..VK ❤


  5. True true. Some people are very slow learners, not us

    Best wishes,MickMick CarmodyMobile +61 449 295 900Dementia Alliance International | @DementiaAlliancOnline Support Group Facilitator and HostSee the person, not the dementia

    Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 21:14:50 +0000 To:


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