Being the Same but Different: Creating Meaning from Dementia

  • Richard ChestonEmail author
  • Gary Christopher


In this chapter, we examine how people who are living with dementia balance the need to preserve their identity and self-esteem against a requirement to understand their dementia. Adjusting to dementia involves both cognitive and affective processes. It is something that is done with both the heart and the mind. In creating meaning from their dementia, people face a dilemma: whether to confront the threat posed by the diagnosis or, instead, push all knowledge of it out of their mind. Each course of action comes with risks: while it might sometimes be preferable not to think about dementia, this brings with it problems of long-term adjustment to the condition. However, while engaging with their dementia may be painful and distressing for people, an increasing number of people who are living with this condition are able to talk openly about their experiences and challenge the myths and stigma that abound in society.


Dementia Alzheimer’s disease Awareness Adjustment Meaning Assimilation Metaphor 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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