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Mind your language – respect for people living with dementia

14th January, 2019

Private client lawyers, solicitors working in mental health law, law firm PSLs, marketing staff, and external copywriters will be interested in a best practice guide which highlights language to avoid when writing about people living with dementia.

The free online guide, entitled Dementia Words Matter has been produced by the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) and Dementia Alliance who would like to encourage writers to use ‘accurate, balanced and respectful’ language, rather than ‘sensationalist’ ‘curl up and die’ words.

DEEP and The Dementia Alliance have joined forces to ask organisations to commit to three Cs:

  • Check words and descriptions against the DEEP guide;
  • Change any words which are inappropriate
  • Challenge words they see used elsewhere – for example in meetings, conferences, materials – and spread the word to others.

‘My father lives with vascular dementia,’ explains managing director Sue Bramall, ‘and I know that I have been guilty of describing him as a ‘sufferer’ in the past. This guide is a really useful tool for challenging the way that we think, speak and write – and so we will be spreading the word to all our authors, clients and fellow professionals in law firms and law firm marketing.’

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