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Dementia, defeating the stigma

March 14, 2019

To commemorate Brain Awareness Week, Alzheimer Society’s Shari Remus speaks about living well with dementia at SACPA.

Remus says people often make assumptions about the capabilities — or lack thereof — of those with dementia. This can result in fewer opportunities for those with dementia to make decisions, contribute to discussions and activities, and have control over their lives.

Individuals living with dementia often experience stigma during the time of diagnosis and throughout their disease. Data from the Alzheimer Society of Canada indicates that perceptions of stigma are high among those living with dementia and their family members. Those with dementia report being ignored and taken advantage of, and have trouble accessing services.

"We need more education about dementia, as well as the opportunity to see people with dementia as educators, advocates and leaders so we can fight the stigma associated with dementia. Working together with those living with dementia and their families is the best way to identify aspects of care, services and research that need to be addressed," says Remus.

Brain Awareness Week is an annual global event with a goal of increasing public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.