What do you say on such an occasion, Happy Dementia Awareness Month? Why not – to wish someone a happy anything is nice but as for the Awareness …. well I am not that sure we have made too much progress. For it seems to me that everyone wants to be part of the raising awareness campaign, even when they may not have that much knowledge to offer. It seems a lot of people want a piece of the “Raising Awareness Pie” for it is they who need to be fed. They need to be fed either financially or emotionally or maybe both and I am just not sure if that is truly helpful, in the pursuit of raising awareness. I have read a lot of information that I think is of very poor quality, reports on research that are unsubstantiated and just a lot of generalizations that really leave me feeling uncomfortable. Most recently, I tuned into a video in which the “dementia expert” continuously referred to individuals with dementia as “them or they” such as “I like them and I know they have special hearts”. I find referring to anyone as though they are part of one big homogeneous group, disrespectful. Isn’t this what we are trying to discourage? So maybe we need to go back to the basics and remind each other that, “each person experiencing cognitive change is a unique individual with unique circumstances and should not be lumped in with any group”. Another quote which may be helpful is “Once you’ve met one person with dementia; you’ve met one person with dementia.
Happy Dementia Awareness Month