Our society devalues older adults. And because we devalue them, we devalue those living with dementia. We joke about them. We marginalize them. And we segregate them from society.
Disrupt Dementia is a paradigm-shifting non-fiction theater performance designed to de-stigmatize dementia and open a space for new possibilities. During 2016, Disrupt Dementia visited 35 communities across North America as part of Dr. Bill Thomas’ ChangingAging Tour. During these performances we blended verbatim quotes from people living with dementia from ethnographic and participatory action research […]
When a person faces a diagnosis of dementia, she and her loved ones are thrown into these two most complex worlds like never before. Our predominant view of dementia puts those caring people in a system that is stacked against them
Life had presented us with a choice: we could accept the “tragedy narrative” that fit so seamlessly with our overpowering sense of loss or we could tell a new story. Because of our experience being with and learning from elders, and our openness to learning from people living with dementia, we knew there was a new story waiting to be told.
This week PBS will air Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts, a documentary framed as “an urgent wake-up call about the national public health threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease.” While it’s true Alzheimer’s disease poses a public health challenge, much of the suffering experienced by people living with dementia is socially imposed on them by the tragedy-only narrative exemplified in films such as this.
Proponents of transforming elder care focus on the words we use, and often suggest new language choices for much of our terminology.
There are two common operational practices that make it difficult for organizations to visualize a pathway to unlocking doors (and many other activities as well): all-or-none thinking and surplus safety. I explore each of these in the conclusion to my series “Hidden Restraints.”
When you think of your life and the record you want to leave behind, do your accumulated possessions, job titles and accomplishments really do you justice? The process of aging can teach us the value of the intangibles in a life story, including the importance of community and the worth of a given moment.