Home > Communication, Dignity > Diagnosed with vs suffering from dementia

Diagnosed with vs suffering from dementia

Rant on, Kate, and well said! I’m going to have to police my own language a little more from now on. Thanks for a very thought-provoking piece.

Dementia Expert Chris Roberts UKThere has been a lot of noise on social media and other places about the use of the word ‘sufferer’ in the last few weeks when referring to a person with dementia. Last week, I received a reply by someone willing to change the term  to a person diagnosed with dementia, with acceptance and grace. Such a welcome change from most users of this offensive term, respectful and gracious. Interestingly, the people are the most impolite about it, and who refuse to think we actually have no right to be offended by it, when they are not, are journalists and professionals. Not all, for sure, but many. And also family carers, who my husband and I believe are the ones more likely to be suffering than those of us diagnosed with dementia.

So, does ‘I am suffering from… dementia, arthritis, cancer, MS etc sound more negative and less empowering than…

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  1. June 15, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Thank you for reblogging this one, and I hope it is useful to your readers as well. We (people with dementia) are all speaking up about offensive and disrespectful language, and the people who take the most umbrage about it are journalists/the media!!! It is wonderful to have people like you listen and learn, with respect, and also willing to modify your own language about us. Thank you.

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