How Do the Words We Use Affect Quality of Life with Dementia?
Language matters when it comes to caring for someone living with dementia. Knowing this, St. John’s has focused on avoiding the negative phrases and labels that can adversely affect quality of life for residents suffering from cognitive decline.
“Changing the way we talk about people living with dementia is an important step towards honoring them as individuals,” said St. John’s Dementia/Quality of Life Specialist Mimi DeVinney in a recent column she wrote for McKnight’s Long-Term Care. “In my 20 years at St. John’s Home, I can think of dozens of elders who we were able to make more comfortable and content once we looked beyond those preconceived attitudes and truly worked to get to know them.”