To understand what a Dementia Interpreter is, we need to first understand what the words mean.
Dementia: An Umbrella term for over 100 diseases associated with the decline of brain function.
Interpreter: A person that interprets and translates, speech and communication into another language.
Dementia is now a word that everyone knows, even if they may not have had contact with someone who has dementia. For most of the public, this word dementia is feared because of inappropriate media stories and the life experiences that people tell others. The experiences they discuss about dementia, always seem to be about the negatives rather than the positive experiences they had. Across the world, dementia understanding is still in its infancy, even though research is helping us to find the key that unlocks the mysteries of these diseases. We can change what happens to people with Dementia in the future by the amazing work that is happening today.
The major challenge that we have with dementia is that no one is prepared for this disease and a massive majority of families have no knowledge of it when a family member is diagnosed. It is thought that around 75% of people who are diagnosed are starting their personal journey of dementia being supported by people that have never had contact with the disease. These are then left to their own devices to find out about what is going to happen and often turn to ‘Dr Google’ for advice.
As the journey of dementia develops, these families then turn to the care industry for support and meet some amazing people that have dedicated their lives to supporting people with dementia to live in the best way they can. Sadly, these two groups of people are only connected when the disease has developed to a stage where professional care is the only option. It is the sad truth that by the time people with dementia are connected to the care professionals, often their family relationships are disjointed and sometimes broken.
The ‘worldwide’ Dementia Interpreter network is committed to reconnecting families by teaching them the language of dementia and ensuring that the persons voice is always heard. Sometimes the most obvious change is so simple, and this is where the art of dementia conversations is needed.
As the brain loses the ability to speak as it would normally, it will find new ways to compensate and begins to invent a new language. These new and unnatural ways they speak will seem strange to the people around them and often labelled as a ‘dementia trait or strange behaviour’ and therefore a wall is being built in between the relationship and the family dynamic becomes disjointed. This self-taught language seems to be universal across the dementia landscape and together we can start to learn how to translate this into an understandable language.
Dementia Interpreters course: Webinar, E-learning, Face to face, Train the Trainer.
Just imagine you lived with people that couldn’t understand the language that you are speaking, how would this feel?
Dementia Interpreters are people that are committed to learning the language of dementia and sharing it with the world. They start their ‘career of speech’ by being placed in the same situation as people with dementia by taking the Dementia Interpreters Course. We take away their ability to speak, see, hear, and even use body language and they are forced to find new ways to communicate. They feel firsthand, the isolation, frustration and anxiety experienced by so many that have dementia and start to mirror the way they communicate without even realising. Having the opportunity to spend some time in their world, Dementia Interpreters find the empathy needed to want to change their understanding, they have the realisation that communication is at the heart of dementia care.
Conditions of use: https://www.dementiadictionary.com/app-user-agreement.htm