There is a myth that once an individual gets dementia they don’t have anything of interest to say.…

As it’s coming up to my two year anniversary of working alongside the Empowered Conversations team, I thought I’d take some time to explore the most interesting and surprising things I have discovered whilst learning more about dementia….

An attitude that I became more aware of through the Empowered Conversations workshops is the belief that once an individual gets dementia they are no longer considered a person with a rich, exciting life story, or that they don’t have anything of interest to say.

I understand that this prejudice can help to be shifted once one knows of valuable and effective ways of communicating with someone with dementia, but even so everyone should be considered worthwhile and capable of making their own basic life choices (unless stated otherwise), and the fact that people with dementia so often aren’t is something that I find upsetting. Friends and family could help to preserve a person with dementia’s life story by producing a book of photographs filled with key moments in their life or just asking them to tell younger people what life was like when they were their age. Just some simple examples!

Additionally, learning about dementia has made me appreciate my family and those who help me even more, as I understand that the amount of tasks one undertakes when caring for me to live with cerebral palsy can also seem like it never ends, and yet the people around me still carry out each duty with diligence and love. Furthermore, however selfish this may sound, it is comforting for me to know that to some extent as soon as every meeting I attend is over, I can stop thinking about dementia and its effects, whereas when one cares for someone with the disease, this is simply not possible so much of the time.