Dementia: stigma, language, and dementia-friendly



Publication Details

Swaffer, K. (2014). Dementia: stigma, language, and dementia-friendly. Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice, 13 (6), 709-716.


The incidence of dementia worldwide is rapidly increasing and Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) (2013) reported that 'there are 7.7 million new cases of dementia each year, implying that there is a new case of dementia somewhere in the world every four seconds'. In Australia, there are over 332,000 people diagnosed with dementia, with an estimated 1700 new diagnoses per week (Alzheimer's Australia, 2014c). As the incidence of dementia rises globally, the rate and scale at which it is currently escalating has forced governments to make it a health priority, and from a consumer's perspective, it is therefore very timely to re-consider the language being used to represent people with dementia and its impact on stigma. I have also considered the presence of stigma within the stigma literature, and wonder if the presence of stigma towards people with dementia, within the dementia and stigma literature, exacerbates the stigma, or prevents the timely translation of good research into better practice. Finally, I will briefly discuss the concept of a dementia friendly community, and the challenges this presents to me as a person living with younger onset dementia.

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