20 dementia “what ifs?”

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The ways we see dementia and the people who live with it are changing, but not fast enough! Many of our perceptions remain distorted and damaging. These distorted and damaging perceptions result in poor care, stress and unacceptable outcomes.

What if we learned to ask better questions? What if we opened our minds to possibility and out-of-the-box solutions? What if we created a new world in which people who lived with dementia were not stigmatized, shunned, and isolated? What would that world look like? What would dementia care look like?

These 20 questions are meant to get people thinking about what the world might look like if we saw dementia and the people who live with it with new eyes:

  1. What if we weren’t afraid of dementia and the people who live with it?
  2. What if we viewed dementia as just another life challenge some of us have to face?
  3. What if we understood that people who live with dementia are people until they die?
  4. What if we knew with certainty that people who live with dementia have needs, feelings and emotions just like the rest of us?
  5. What if we knew how to communicate effectively with people who live with dementia?
  6. What if we knew that it’s really not that important if people with dementia recognize us or not?
  7. What if we understood that behaviours we may find “challenging,” “difficult,” or “disruptive” are actually ways for people living with dementia to tell us what they want and need?
  8. What if, instead of excluding, we included people with dementia in our lives?
  9. What if we learned how to step into the individual realities of people who live with dementia instead of trying to fit them into our reality?
  10. What if we created communities that brought together all kinds of people with diverse cognitive abilities instead of segregating them?
  11. What if we loved people for who they are right now instead of who they were yesterday or the day before?
  12. What if we were able to see the potential in people who live with dementia?
  13. What if we could see what people can do instead of what they can’t?
  14. What if we knew that people recognize love even if they don’t recognize our faces or know our names?
  15. What if we could learn to find healing and joy instead of pain and sorrow in our relationships with people living with dementia?
  16. What if we could see dementia differently?
  17. What if we could see people who live with dementia differently?
  18. What if we could connect instead of disconnecting with people who live with dementia?
  19. What if we learned to appreciate the time we have together now, instead of mourning (in advance) the time we won’t have in the future?
  20. What if we could see possibility and opportunity instead of obstacles and barriers?

What if all of the above?

It’s time to reimagine, recreate and revolutionize the way we see dementia as well as the way we provide care to the people who live with it.

More posts in the “20 questions”series here as well as below.

20 great questions to ask when a loved one with dementia doesn’t recognize you anymore

20 questions that help explain why people with dementia get agitated and physically aggressive

20 questions to ask yourself about dementia-related incontinence

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