Al Power Calls for a Rebranding of Dementia Advocacy

September 22, 2017
Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

For whatever reason lately, I’m suddenly finding myself in hard conversations about language…. and not just with those who don’t understand the power of language as a tool for shifting paradigms, I’m also getting into it with fellow change agents!

I get it.  It can feel exhausting at times helping others to really grok that words make worlds.  Sometimes, you are so darn tired of trying to beat ’em (or rather, influence ’em), you wanna throw up your hands and join ’em.

But we can’t.  We simply can’t… no matter how easy that path of least resistance looks.  If we want to be taken seriously as change agents, if we want to be respected for the consistency and validity of our message, there can be no compromise.  As a student of Landmark education, I have learned that, at the end of the day, all we are is our word.  Our word.  It comes down to this… our word is who we are.

As an advocate for person-directed care, who are you?  I assure you, the words you use say it all.  Acknowledging that words make worlds is not a mindless pledge to be PC.  It’s about living through the awareness that language has the capacity to build new neural pathways in our brains… to literally re-wire how we see things, how we think about them, and how we impact them through our interpersonal relationships.  Language gives us the power to plants seeds of change one word at a time, whether we say it, write it, or publish it.

Thank you, Dr. Al Power, for reminding us in your post, “Rebranding Dementia Advocacy” that we have to live this work… to eat, drink, sleep, and breathe it.  Savor every word of this brilliant blog about calling ALL to action, even the most well-meaning of folks.

3 Comments. Leave new

Let’s check on a few words: that which is ‘hard’ may be a life saver; that which is ‘easy’ may be a death trap. Let’s replace the easy/hard standard with for or against life. The easy-hard standard is not appropriate for deciding what is for or against one’s life. Live for your life and let success bring you happiness.

Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative
September 22, 2017 1:27 pm

Beautiful, Vivian! Thank you!

Sigrún Huld Þorgrímsdóttir
September 26, 2017 6:08 am

Thank you Al. As so often before you are an inspiration for me. As you know I am struggling with writing a book (in Icelandic) on culture change, partly focusing on EA and Green House. I try to be very word-conscious, but here in my country we need to do a lot of groundwork to develop new words. Hopefully I will publish my book next year and then I am going to do a lot of “propaganda” or education about culture change. Maybe that effort will help to create a new vocabulary….


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