Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Why this stigma

Stigma is a terrible thing, but it's not something which is new, it's been around for many years.

We have seen stigma in many illnesses,  like cancer in the 1950-60s.   It's also been attached to Aids,  and recently Ebola, yet much of it is caused by old stories and myths, which do not seem to go away, possibly because many people simply believe they are true.
I have been asked on many occasions whether dementia us contagious, something which has left me staggered. Some think you can catch it if someone who has dementia sneezes.

But I believe much of this stems from the fact that it sometimes seems to run in families, but most of it seems to come from the fact the some forms are called disease, like Lewy Body Dementia, which in some cases is called Lewy Body Disease, just one case in many.
Some charities sometimes call themselves " Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia Disease, and this also helps keep the stigma going. This is because professionals cannot decide what to call illnesses I suppose, or people call things by different terms and names

But I feel that much of this could be stopped, if everyone was educated properly about this illness, rather than picking up odd pieces and trying to find the truth their own way

To educate everyone we should be starting with school children, who are already learning about someone in their families who has the illness. Many of these children want to learn more about what is happening to granny or grand dad, and it's now time to start helping them understand  just what is going on.
These are the people who will shape the  future in stopping this stigma, and therefore we must help them to help us.
Years ago parents kept their children out of the way, when someone had dementia, but now things have changed for the best, and it would be much better without the stigma.
I have also heard stories of people crossing the road, so they did not come into contact with someone who had dementia in their families.
This usually happened in very close communities like small villages, as a family member once told me.

So it's time to find a way of getting into all schools, to teach all children that stigma, is not a nice thing, no matter which illness it's attached to. Teachers should allow people with illnesses into schools to help educate those who are our future support.

The Government says that they are dementia friendly, so it's time they factored this into education.

 It does not need to be an examination study, just allow us in during free time to speak to children and explain our problems and the stigma which is attached to it.

Let us hope that sometime soon things will change and change for the best

Let us all work to remove all stigma once and for all

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