By Thomas Baird LCSW, MDiv
In this space, we will regularly be sharing resources that we find may be helpful for caregivers. The content provided is intended for informational purposes only. The materials included do not constitute an endorsement of the authors or their materials by Awkward Story.
The Dementia Action Alliance created a podcast entitled This Dementia Life, which features full interviews with individuals living with dementia. These brave individuals share about their experiences, their perceived limitations, and their desire for some independence. The DAA advisory board includes several individuals diagnosed with forms of dementia, all who serve as advocates for those living with cognitive impairment.
As someone who has spent time working in disability services, I was encouraged by the language used on the DAA website, which speaks of empowering individuals impacted by dementia. The website proclaims that the DAA will:
"advocate for inclusion and accommodating dementia as a disability needing compensatory strategies for changing abilities; promote person- and relational-centered care practices; identify beneficial technologies; and connect and engage people as much more can be accomplished working together."
I have occasionally told my colleague Maggie that the field of dementia care is occasionally "catching up" to the field of disability services in the U.S., in that many disability service agencies have spent the past 30 years striving to honor personhood, autonomy, and individuality in individuals that might be non-verbal, less responsive, and experiencing complex medical concerns. Disability advocates have had practice promoting value and dignity in every interaction they have with individuals living with disabilities.
Thomas Baird LCSW
Maggie Dawson MSW