A moving essay on dementia in the lancet

By Maura Gallahue

There is hope…

In an era where stigmatisation that surrounds dementia remains a global problem that requires global action, Dana Walrath, Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, together with Prof. Brian Lawlor, Deputy Executive Director of Global Brain Health Institute, trace some of the social origins of dementia stigma in essay published in The Lancet on September 21. Here, they reflect on a new republic of hope for dementia. A hope that challenges the stigma, breaks down barriers, and focuses on restoring personhood for the patient diagnosed and also their care partners.

To coincide with World Alzheimer’s Day, this essay looks at how dementia challenges us as a society to examine what it means to be human. The authors provide readers with an uplifting lens through which to understand the idea of hope and connection and to recognise the persistence of human qualities that reveal proximity to our essential humanity.

“Seeing dementia as a diversity issue, as a different way of being, allows those living with it to be our teachers,” write Lawlor and Walrath. “This approach confers hope, honour, and respect to people living with this disease.”

Read this article on The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)32099-9/fulltext

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