The Be the Missing Piece campaign was created in response to the negative statements we at the Alzheimer Society hear every single day to and about people living with dementia. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the issue and stamp out the stigma surrounding dementia by drawing attention to the language people use without thinking, comments that are rude, dismissive, and hurtful.
“It’s bullying, pure and simple,” says Janet, one of the “faces” of our campaign.
Canadian society is becoming increasingly inclusive and sensitive to the feelings of others, and yet it remains acceptable to marginalize people living with dementia. We asked why?
Prejudice and intolerance are often formed because of stereotypes, misconceptions, and fear of a particular group of people, causing them to be seen as “other” and less deserving of dignity and respect.
Making jokes about “old-timer’s” disease and calling people “demented” are classic examples of stigmatizing language. There’s a world of difference between being “in” on the joke and being the “butt” of the joke. Talking over or past people who are living with dementia as though they aren’t even there is dismissive, and dehumanizing and it happens every single day.
Be the Missing Piece is a call to action to change the conversation about dementia by thinking about the words we use and by making space for people with dementia.
You can Be the Missing Piece for someone living with dementia and their care partner by being part of the change. It's easier than you'd think--just change your mind and change a life.