Tips for Dementia

20 things NOT to say or do to a person with dementia

  1. Don’t say, ‘but you don’t look or sound like you have dementia’ 
  2. Don’t tell us we are wrong 
  3. Don’t argue with us or correct trivial things 
  4. Don’t say ‘remember when…’ 
  5. Don’t call us ‘sufferers’ or ‘victims’ 
  6. Don’t refer to us as demented, dementing illness, vacant dement, demented sufferer, an empty shell, fading away, disappearing, or that it is the longest goodbye, the saddest goodbye, stealing us away (we are always still here), afflicted 
  7. Don’t say you are ‘living with dementia’ unless you are diagnosed with dementia 
  8. Don’t remind us of the death of a loved one or pet 
  9. Don’t blame the person for the changes in behaviour or personality. 
  10. We have a form or type of dementia, not an ‘affliction’ 
  11. Don’t call me honey, love or anything other than my preferred name 
  12. Don’t refer to us as ‘aggressives, ‘wanderers’, ‘poor feeders’, ‘wetters’, ‘attention-seekers’, ‘non-communicators’ or as ‘obstructive’ – we are still human beings 
  13. Don’t assume because we can’t tell you, your words or actions don’t hurt our feelings
  14. Don’t assume I can’t answer for myself 
  15. Don’t talk about me to someone else, in front of me 
  16. Don’t assume we can’t communicate even if I we can’t speak 
  17. Don’t say, ‘but I’ve just told you that’ or ‘you’ve asked me that already’ 
  18. Don’t think we can’t feel pain, or have emotions
  19. Don’t assume we don’t understand just because we are silent
  20. Don’t assume anything; it makes an ass out of u and me 

For more information about dementia or therapies for mental health contact Brainstorm.

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Tips for Dementia