Bear in mind words that hurt

Inappropriate words used to describe dementia impact those living with the condition as well as influence societal attitudes

Some people refer to dementia in Chinese as "chi dai zheng", a phrase that implies a disease that causes one to be foolish and dim-witted.

It is a term that never fails to irk Ms Emily Ong, 53, who has young-onset dementia, which affects people younger than 65. And she wants people to understand that such words not only hurt, but also influence societal attitudes towards people with dementia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2020, with the headline 'Bear in mind words that hurt'. Subscribe