I’ve been watching a series called “The Broken Brain”, where the focus is on healing using holistic and lifestyle changes. Many, including me, have believed in the power of the mind and a healthy lifestyle being able to heal disease and change our thinking, including dementia. Thankfully science is catching up.
Anyway, the use of negative language about dementia remains offensive to many, and I received an email from the organisers of this particular series I contacted them about, emailing them the following:
I’ve been watching and learning from your series, and am a supporter of the Bredesen Protocol.
However, I wish to state as a person diagnosed with younger onset dementia, that your use of the discourse of fear, and saying things like our ‘personalities evaporate’ is highly offensive.
Whilst trying to promote positive and healthy living, and reversing dementia, using such negative discourse is the exact type of discourse that many of us living with it, are advocating against.
Note, I have attached one of the many dementia language guidelines and ask with respect, that you refer to them.
Here is part of their excellent response:
Thank you for writing to us.
We understand that this is a very sensitive topic and are so very sorry that we offended you. It was not our intention.
We appreciate that you wrote to us.
I will take a look at your guidelines and share them with the team. Thank you for your work.
Our very best wishes to you!
Note: I attached these language guidelines – https://www.dementia.org.au/sites/default/files/NATIONAL/documents/language-guidelines-full.pdf
From the Broken Brain series, in case you missed it:
For example, Episode Two takes a hard look at just how incredibly interconnected our bodies actually are and how even emotional, psychiatric and behavioral symptoms can be triggered and increased by poor gut health.
This weekend you can still watch the whole series here: https://brokenbrain.com/replay/