Let Us Help you Understand
With lots of people having dementia, why does stigma still surround it?
As we start 2018, there are 17,000 Nova Scotians with dementia. With an aging population, that number is on the rise. In our small province, it means that you know of someone who has / had the disease.
According to a new survey done by the Alzheimer Societies in Canada, only 39 per cent of those surveyed would offer support for family or friends who were open about their diagnosis.
Still wondering why stigma exists? We don’t. Why? Because we hear jokes like: “Can’t find my keys, must have the old-zheimers.” Or comments like, “You look healthy, you can’t have a disease.”
Language is important. It structures the lens we use to see people, to interpret the news we hear. So when you make jokes, don’t seek out information to educate yourself, or won’t help a person with dementia or caregiver, you might not realize that you are contributing to the isolation and fear people have about this disease.
This Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we want you to join us in changing these views, reducing stigma. How? Our tagline says it all: “Let Us Help You Understand.” Not just us – as in the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia – but us as in: people with dementia, caregivers, volunteers, health care providers. We are a community that is trying to change the way people feel and respond to this disease. Join us.
For more information about some of the resources we have for Alzheimer's Awareness Month, click here.