Alternate Point of View

we walk in those heals with our head held high. 001.jpg Activity:

In the Reply box below or in your notebook write down the answers to the following questions:

  1. Should people living with dementia be identified as “disabled”? Why or why not?
  2. Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?
  3. Are there any benefits to this designation?

 

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18 thoughts on “Alternate Point of View

  1. Should people living with dementia be identified as “disabled”? Why or why not?

    – People living with dementia should not be labeled disabled, especially since people with visual and hearing impairments do not identify themselves as disabled, therefore people with dementia should not either. It is society who came up with the label and have continued to do because people with decreased abilities are seen as “suffering” or different from any other person. They are still people but with decreased abilities, and should not be seen as only that but as who they want to identify as. If someone who was a previous employee at a law firm who now has dementia identifies themselves as only that, their dignity is lost. It is society’s job and other professionals to assure the general public acknowledges dementia, to help people in the community and to not be ignorant. People who have diabetes are not given a choice, it happens. To identify their specific condition they wear bracelets that have a sign incase of an emergency and awareness and are not considered disabled. If diabetics have an identity bracelet and are still living their lives, why can’t people who have dementia do the same. I feel as if this would be a better understanding and not labeling someone as a disabled persons but rather why they have a Medi bracelet or chain. Society is use to living and seeing and viewing people with full cognitive abilities, it is time to change that because there are growing numbers of people everyday who have decreased abilities.

    Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?

    – No, if people are speaking out and bringing awareness it is because they do want others to know what the dementia is and what it is like to be diagnosed with. At first there may be denial and some hard feelings, but it is becoming more and more common and more people need to stand united and stand up for the rights people with dementia deserve. The stigma comes with society’s general point of view but if the handful of society create a positive environment and community for people to demystify the “scary” though of dementia there would be a decreased stigma of being diagnosed with dementia.

    Are there any benefits to this designation?

    – The benefits to this designation would be for people who are preparing for dementia, especially with genetics being involved. These people are I feel have the most increased stigma with being diagnosed with dementia. Also, for the majority of the population that is unaware of dementia, can benefit from the education and will think of it as not a disease taking over and be valued member of society.

    Not sure if this is answered correctly or if its too much!

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    1. Very thoughtful response. The audio certainly stimulates thinking about an alternate point of view. But I think you are right, “labelling” can lead to further stigma!

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  2. 1. No people should not be labeled as “disabled” just because they have dementia. They are capable of many things, its just their mind doesn’t cope as well as it did before.
    2. No because being aware of this disease is better than not. By being aware earlier than later, it provides for a chance of prevention and preparation.
    3. The main benefit of this designation is being able to being prepared for dementia for any reason.

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  3. I don’t feel people living with dementia should be labelled. We are all living with something. In a perfect world, communities and the people living within them would support, be compassionate and have patience for people regardless of how they “present” on the outside. Educating people is key in helping to grow compassion and empathy in people. I do however feel Jasmine has a good idea of some sort of a medic bracelet in the event someone living with dementia was too confused to relay to someone where they live or a phone number of a family member could be helpful.

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    1. I agree, education is the key to the future!
      I think a similar situation was when people were given the diagnosis of AIDS. Everyone was frightened and did not want to have anything to do with the person. But education and time has brought us to a better understanding of the disease. I think the same could be true for dementia.
      We need to keep the conversation going!

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  4. I don’t feel that anyone should ever be labelled, regardless of disease or disability. Sadly there are generally stigmas around most labels so if people living with dementia were further identified as “disabled” then this would only add to the stigma. We need to, as a society, educate ourselves and each other on dementia as well as other illnesses so that we can be more empathetic on the whole. Find out about the person, empathize and guide them in getting the support they need in their community.
    And I also like Jasmines idea of a medic alert bracelet.

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    1. I agree labelling can lead to further stigma.
      They have tried something similar to Jasmine’s idea in Scotland. People with dementia carry a card that they can use to identify themselves with suggestions on how you can support them. It has been very successful!

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  5. Should people living with dementia be identified as “disabled”? Why or why not?

    – I don’t believe that labeling people has any benefit. By sticking people into these categories, we’re really outcasting them from society. Once someone is put into that category, our society will see them as the “disabled person”, instead of the person who’s living with a disability. This construct of organizing others based on what they do or don’t have, leaves a big chunk of our population feeling like they don’t belong.

    Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?

    – I think it might increase the stigma around being diagnosed with with dementia. We all have biases, wether we realize it or not, and categorizing people further will add to the stigma by making it as though dementia should not be talked about, like all the other topics that are hard for people to talk about. Fortunately, our society if making progress in terms of opening up about these topics, such as disability, mental illness, sexuality, and many more, and we are in the process of confronting stigma.

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  6. Should people with dementia be labelled as “disabled” Why or Why not?

    I believe that people with dementia should NOT be labelled as “disabled” or labelled as anything. Certainly because they are ..human beings. I think so much of the labelling in the world contributes very negatively. Rather than education, we seek labelling people and sometimes it helps to identify certain illnesses but overall considering how our world is now, the stigma is the biggest negative contributor to this idea . It would only lump as a problem rather than something to consider fairly and not think of it as a “burden” and all the negative things that are sadly associated with it. So much of why I think they shouldn’t be labelled as disabled is because people living with dementia are still able to live very fulfilling and incredible lives as anyone else living with some kind of “disease” or illness . Sometimes I think those two correspond with each other and its just so wrong because people are MORE than any disease. I understand the point of perspective but I think instead we should focus on education and its expansion and fill the world with compassion because we are all human beings despite our diagnosis.

    Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?
    Yes, I think this would increase the stigma . People unfortunately have a lot of assumptions about people living with “something”. Its like its automatically implanted in our society to outcast those people. Although, we might be getting better at opening the idea of talking about different illnesses, mental health, environmental issues, sexuality etc. There is still a lot of work to be done and we certainly have a big role to advocate and educate people about this while the conversation is going.

    Would this have any benefit ?
    To some degree I think it would benefit the focus on policies and rights . Focusing on the environment, attitudes, resources, and prevention but again I would argue this designation of just labelling would have more disadvantages. I believe that education and conversation would benefit more.

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    1. Not sure who Anonymous is, but this is a thoughtful response. I agree that labelling can lead to negative connotations about the disease resulting in further stigma! I also agree that the more we talk about the disease and them more people educate themselves about it, the quicker we can deal with the stigma!

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  7. Should people living with dementia be identified as “disabled”? Why or why not?
    I believe that it depends how far along their Dementia has progressed. I do agree with the others that the stigma alone of Dementia is poor at its best, but with the progression of dementia steadily increasing in our country i do being that it is important for the people who need these designations to be able to access it without much problem, and the “disabled” stigma itself has slowly been changing with the change in population. I agree that some people have beliefs about “disabled” being the incapability to care for yourself, but how I see it is that if people with Dementia were able to be placed in a disabled category, it might be possible for more in depth research to be done on the progression of the disease itself.

    Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?
    This is a tough question especially because every person has different point of views on Dementia. I would hope that the designation of dementia that has progressed quite a bit would not only help end the stigma on Dementia, but also bring awareness about the consistent increase of people diagnosed with this disease per year. The designation itself it not meant to create a worsening stigma, but its a tool that can help the person themselves or the people around them. Personally I have seen the designation of Multiple Sclerosis being disabled not only help the surrounding people understand the disease better, but it has also allowed the person with that designation to help others understand the medical side of these diseases better which in turn helps everyone involved. From this experience i believe that it is possible for a similar occurrence to happen with Dementia which results in a better understanding of the disease itself and the people thriving with it.

    Are there any benefits to this designation?
    For the person with living with Dementia, there is a possibility of benefits due to the designation of being disabled. I do believe that this designation would affect how the policies around dementia are formed as well as the different types of care needed for a person thriving with Dementia. The Example of Scotland’s attempt at the people carrying a designated card is quite similar to the card someone labels as disabled would carry around for the bus membership here in B.C. and would hopefully allow people with dementia to get around on their own easier, because they are not incompetent, but on their bad days may need a helping hand. Personally, i have seen more people go out of their way to help someone who is labeled as disabled, then someone who looks like any other person, so my hope for this designation is that it would help the people with Dementia when they need that extra helping hand.

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  8. 1. People living with dementia should not be labeled as disabled. They are not the disease, they are their own person with feelings and personalities. I f we were all labeled because of our weaknesses that we may or may not have been able to prevent, it would cause a lot of stigma. People living with dementia are like every other person, they just can’t process/cope as quickly as us.
    2. No, because if we look into dementia more closely and actually try to understand the way someone and their families handle it, then we can be better prepared and aware of the challenges. If there are any ways of prevention of developing dementia then we can be able to possibly avoid it all together.
    3. The major benefit to this designation is to be better prepared and to better understand. We can also be aware of the dynamic ways that care can be provided to someone living with dementia.

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  9. There is no way to determine who will get dementia or not! As we have studied, we still don’t know what causes the disease in the first place, therefore it cannot be prevented. We can only reduce the risk of developing more severe symptoms as we age.

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  10. Should people living with dementia be identified as “disabled”? Why or why not?
    -each person has feelings and personalities even if he got old or diagnosis any kind of disease that why I think we should not labeled people living with dementia as disabled. It is not respectful to those people who has dementia.
    Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?
    -no, the designation just let people have a better understanding of dementia. We may need more patient and sympathy when we spend time with people who has dementia but this designation will not increase the sigma of being diagnosed with dementia.
    Are there any benefits to this designation?
    -As far as I concerned, the biggest benefit to this designation is people could have a better understanding of dementia and how to spend time with people who has dementia.

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  11. 1)Should people living with dementia be identified as “disabled”? Why or why not?
    I believe no one should be identified as “disabled”. This type of labeling not only creates stigma but will affect the self-esteem of the one being labeled.

    2)Would this designation increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia?
    This designation absolutely would increase the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia

    3)Are there any benefits to this designation?
    The only benefit I could see of this designation is when an individual needs assistance in daily life. For example, in the video “Jim’s Story Dementia Friendly Communities”, Jim Mann wears an indicator which helps him in his interactions with others throughout the day. But, instead of labeling as “disabled”, he explains he has Alzheimer’s. In this case, ‘labeling’ is helpful; it works since he doesn’t use the generalized “disabled” but rather states clearly his condition.

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