Dementia Words Matter is A ‘Call to Action’ from people living with dementia. It is led jointly by DEEP & the National Dementia Action Alliance
“Dementia Words Matter” is a DEEP Guide, written by people with dementia, that sets out the words and descriptions of dementia that we would prefer are avoided. We recognise that some quite dramatic words and descriptions can be justifiable when used to create a good story and a sense of urgency. On these occasions, we hope that evocative language is used thoughtfully and with consideration.
However, it is the words that we describe as ‘curl up and die words’ that particularly form the basis of this Call to Action. This includes words such as ‘demented’, ‘sufferer’, ‘senile’ and ‘living death’. These are words that make us physically flinch when we hear them, that create stereotypes, and that are negatively attached to the person rather than the condition.
“Words are very powerful – they can build you up or put you down. When you are speaking about dementia remember this.” Agnes Houston, person with dementia