There is still frequent use of the term ‘sufferer’ in the media when referring to people with dementia.

The language we use to talk about dementia influences how people with dementia are viewed. Derogatory words perpetuate fear and stigma and are contradictory with the aspirations of people wanting to live well with dementia.

Dementia Words Matter ( is a nation-wide campaign aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of using appropriate language when referring to people with dementia.DEEP

Dementia Words Matter” is a DEEP (The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project) guide, written by people with dementia. It sets out the words and descriptions of dementia that people would prefer are avoided.

Member organisations of Dementia Action Alliance, and other non-member organisations, are encouraged to join this campaign to take action about the use of language associated with dementia, by committing to the three Cs:

  • Check words and descriptions used in your printed materials against the DEEP Guide
  • Change any words and descriptions that people with dementia have identified as ones to avoid
  • Challenge words which you recognise as our ‘curl up and die’ words whenever you see or hear them –  in newspapers, on TV, on websites and in conferences and meetings. And pass on the challenge to others to take forward in their own settings.

To find out more about Dementia Words Matter campaign, or to sign up, please visit


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