“We cannot change the condition, but we can change the experience of living with it.”
~ Robert Bowles, living with Lewy Body dementia
Imagine living with a condition that is mostly misunderstood and highly stigmatized. Such is the case for over 5 million Americans. Societal stigma and misperceptions about living with dementia must change because of the damaging effects they cause for the individuals and families affected.
The prevailing perception of dementia is as a condition marked by deficits and decline, and that nothing can be done. One of the most common misperceptions is assuming everyone with dementia is living with advanced symptoms rather than understanding there are many types of dementia besides Alzheimer’s and that symptoms evolve over time.
When a person’s network of family, friends, doctors, neighbors, and local community members better understand dementia and its symptoms, it can significantly and positively impact everyday life for them.
“Dementia is the greatest shame of modern medicine; not because there have been no significant advances in treatment, but because – from restraints, to locked units, to the use of inappropriate antipsychotics, to electroconvulsive therapy – we have lost our recognition of the humanity of those living with dementia. And there are few signs that we are making much headway.”
~ G. Allen Power, MD
Click here for Dr. Power’s blogpost Electroconvulsive Therapy for Dementia and the Dangers of the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia Mindset.