Time for a little FUN! It’s time we caregivers lighten things up a bit and start calling each other names. It’s okay. Really.
When the going gets tough, forget calling yourself a caregiver, carer, or care partner. Nahhh, how about trying out a new name? PWoD!
C’mon, say it aloud. PEE-wahd! PWoD.
See? Bet ya’ couldn’t say it aloud without smiling.
What’s it stand for?
Person WithOUT Dementia.
Last year, I was on a Skype call with Australian-based, Kate Swaffer, CEO and Co-Founder of Dementia Alliance International (DAI). She was in Italy at the time we talked about DAI’s initiatives with dementia advocates and The Caregiver’s Voice’s efforts to raise awareness of dementia through our VOICES with Dementia program. As we talked, Kate Swaffer referred to DAI members as PWDs (P-W-Ds).
In truth, she and fellow advocates find this label demeaning; especially, when used instead of a person’s name. Yet, PWD is a step beyond “demented person,” a horrible label I encountered after my father’s diagnosis. At least, PWD focuses first on the PERSON and then the disease.
As Kate discussed DAI’s work, I wanted to be part of this group. But noooooo. DAI is only for people with dementia.
The more we talked the more I felt excluded. There had to be another way without paying the price of a life-changing diagnosis with dementia. As Kate and I often do, we relate lightly and yet heartfeltly, knowing that we’re each doing the best we know how to raise dementia and caregiving awareness.
And then it hit me. I began to smile. I couldn’t contain my flash of brilliance and shared it with Kate:
We, who are fortunate at this time in our lives not to be diagnosed with dementia, are people without dementia. YEAH. PWoDs.
She laughed. Since then audiences laugh too when I share this. Click to view the one-and-a-half-minute excerpt here:
So, when the going gets tough or even when there’s calm in caregiving land, how about trying out a new name?
Bring a little levity with innocent name-calling, you PWoD!
For more on PWDs and PWoDs, click on:
The Language of Dementia – PWD & PWoD?
If you’re in a position to refer a speaker who will inform and inspire audiences with a bit o’ FUN, click on Brenda Avadian’s Speaker Page.