A study similar to the one just mentioned was conducted in the UK. That study found that one in three are afraid of talking to someone with dementia, and one in five say they don’t understand the symptoms of the disease and would be fearful of meeting someone with dementia. A survey conducted by the AGH of museum professionals found similar reservations. We’ll share more about this survey shortly.
Unconscious biases are social stereotypes that we adopt without realizing it. We all have them. They happen when we make quick judgements based on personal background, past experiences or common stereotypes.
Individually, you may be carrying some unconscious biases about persons with dementia. These may manifest as fear or nervousness, assumptions that you make about ability or interest, or a number of other ideas and actions.
Institutionally, stigma and bias can affect the degree to which your organization is aware, welcoming, accessible and supportive of persons with dementia – from the mandate through exhibitions, programming and right down to the sense of welcome of front line staff.
Take some time to reflect, using this activity to guide you, to discover and resolve instances of stigma and bias in your institution.