The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has signed up to an important campaign to show the health and social care regulator’s commitment to best practice in the use of language when talking or writing about people living with dementia.
Jointly led by The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (deep) and the Dementia Action Alliance, the campaign has created a special guide – Dementia Words Matter – written by people living with dementia that sets out the words and descriptions they would prefer are avoided by the media and other organisations.
Chief Executive at CQC, David Behan, said: “Using language like 'a person suffers from dementia' perpetuates fear and stigma and is completely at odds with the aspirations of people living with dementia. They tell our inspectors that they want to live well and be supported to do so.
“CQC has a vital role in making sure that people receive care that is safe, effective, compassionate and high quality. We know how important language is in ensuring that care is respectful and person-centred.
“Sadly, this understanding is not always shared by the media or other organisations. I am pleased that CQC is supporting this campaign. I hope we can encourage others to reflect on the language they use when talking about people with dementia and be more positive.”
Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, added: “Often when I speak at conferences I am privileged to share the stage with people telling their own personal stories about what living with dementia is really like either for themselves or a loved one.
“It is clear from their stories that life does not end where dementia begins. I firmly believe the power of words has a crucial part to play in supporting people living with dementia to lead the meaningful and fulfilling lives they want and deserve.”