Persons with dementia are often excluded from decision-making about programs that are meant for them because it’s falsely assumed they are incapable of communicating their experiences and are unable to make meaningful contributions to the discussion. That’s a serious problem because they are often in the best position to identify what issues are most pressing.
In fact, when persons with dementia are recognized for their abilities more than their limitations, whole new possibilities open up. Sometimes it may simply require us to find different ways of communicating (such as through arts-based approaches).
The following video from the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program describes the importance and value of including persons with dementia in the culture change process:
Dupuis, S.L., McAiney, C.A., Fortune, D. B., Ploeg, J., & de Witt, L. (2014). Theoretical foundations guiding culture change: The work of the Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance. Dementia Online First, January 13, 2014. Available from Sage Journals Online