Discrimination causes social isolation for people living with dementia

Before coronavirus, many people living with dementia were already experiencing social isolation. Not because of a virus, but because of discrimination.

While most people can look forward to social restrictions easing, isolation and social exclusion will still be a reality for many people living with dementia, even once the impacts of coronavirus have lessened.

How discrimination isolates people living with dementia

In a survey of people living with dementia conducted by Dementia Australia, more than half felt people avoided spending time with them because of their diagnosis.

Mature female couple laughing and holding hands walking

People can feel unsure about how to interact with people living with dementia, or uncomfortable around people with a dementia diagnosis. Sadly, this can lead people to avoid socialising with people living with dementia altogether.

This is a form of discrimination caused by a lack of understanding of dementia, and can lead to people living with dementia feeling socially excluded and cut-off from the world.

Making judgements

People can make judgements and assumptions about the capabilities of people living with dementia.

grandparents with grandkids playing in garden

People may assume that because a person has dementia, they are unable to perform certain tasks or cope with certain situations. This can result in people living with dementia losing their confidence and withdrawing, becoming even more isolated from society.

People make judgements about the ability of people living with dementia to work, shop, socialise and look after themselves. These assumptions are often wrong and lead to people living with dementia being excluded from activities they would otherwise be able to participate in.

People living with dementia are still able to live rich lives.

How we can stop discrimination

Growing our community’s understanding of dementia is key to ending discrimination. The more people know about dementia, the more open the world will be for people impacted by it.

Understanding the social challenges people living with dementia face and how they can be better supported through these challenges will lead to a more inclusive society.

Understanding how our judgements can cause discrimination can help us avoid making these judgments in the future.

Learning more about dementia, and helping others to learn as well, can create a more open world for people living with dementia.

Help spread the word and take the pledge to end the discrimination of people living with dementia.

Take the pledge to keep the world open for people living with dementia by understanding more and ending discrimination

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