Module 6 - Changing Circumstances

Video 7 of 17
2 min 39 sec
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A person who is blind communicates differently to a person with healthy eyesight. A person who is deaf communicates differently to a person with healthy hearing. And finally, a person with dementia communicates differently to a person with a healthy brain.

These sentences are included to help you open your mind to change. Without an open mind, things will never improve. Families will remain disconnected. People with dementia will continue to be excluded from conversations. Think about what a family goes through at the start of their journey of dementia.

They have to go through the diagnosis, which leads to fear, anxiety, sadness and in some ways, grief. These powerful emotions are a natural reaction to trauma and a diagnosis of dementia may be the most traumatic experience that they have encountered in any part of their life. No one gives them training and no one helps them to open their mind to the changes they need to make. They are left to find out about the disease on their own and it is not fair when you have known a person all your life and now they are doing things differently. It is just so hard to understand. Added to this is the recognition that this is a terminal disease. It is so sad that we do not give these people more support. It is fact that when a child has a speech impairment or disability, we psychologically deal with this and we adjust because this is how they are. And we adapt to make their lives simpler and easier. When we think about dementia, the challenge for most families is they struggle to adapt. This is because their loved one was not like this a few years ago or even months.

This person that they love seems like they are not the same person because of the disease. The feeling of guilt presents like dismissal and even denial and support has to be in place to help them get through this. Once we can get the families past this guilt, they will be open to changes required to encourage communication and reduce negative behaviours.