Stigma, or the use of negative labels to identify a person with a disability or illness, is often a primary concern of people living with dementia or Alzheimer's. Those that are living with the disease report being misunderstood because of the misconceptions others have about the disease.
Creating a dementia aware community and raising dementia awareness is crucial. Too often, the word dementia creates fear and isolation. I have witnessed this firsthand when taking a group out to a restaurant to have others whisper none too softly, “I can’t believe you take those people out.” They act as if they are not there and are only the stereotype.
The reality is that they are there, and they are more than a diagnosis. To act like they are not part of the community is to deny an illness that all of us are affected by in some way.
Raising Dementia Awareness
I think we should be mindful of the fact that all major diseases have had times of great fear and dread. Rightfully so! Dementia has caused a lot of devastation to individuals and families. However, one unique thing about human beings is that we adapt, and we are fighters. As incidences of breast cancer increased, these dreaded words had to be given a face. So, those affected took the fight to the streets, and now there is pink everywhere, and we celebrate the grit and perseverance of those living with cancer. They fight for awareness, to live better, and for a cure.
Why are we so reluctant to do that with dementia?
Dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, affects over 5.5 million Americans. One hundred and fifty thousand people in the state of Georgia are currently affected, and we will see this rise in Georgia by 27% by the year 2025. We can longer ignore those living with the disease, nor look the other way because of fear.
Early markers can be seen almost 20 years before the disease shows itself. The person living with dementia that you ignore could be you or your loved one in the future. Ask yourself, what would I want or need from my community?
Be a Part of the Solution
Learn more about how you can live with the disease or support those who may need a little help from their friends. Watch the following YouTube video and become more dementia aware and friendly.
At CaraVita Home Care, we help individuals in Roswell, Georgia, and the Metro Atlanta area, live their lives vibrantly with just the help they need. Each person is unique. We partner with individuals or their families to discover their loved one’s Life Story and meaningful pastimes. Paired with a clinical assessment and an understanding of difficult behaviors, we develop an individualized care plan that helps to manage behaviors and create joyful moments.
We see people, not a diagnosis. Join CaraVita Home Care in helping those with dementia live positively! We invite you to join the fight by volunteering, participating in an event, staying informed, donating, or becoming an advocate for those living with Alzheimer’s.