Historically a rigid “medical model” of health care was prescribed for AD as well as other cognitive diseases. This model treated the person and their social difficulties as medical problems, thus restricting a person’s self-identity.99 This resulted in the individual eventually losing their self-identity.100 The medical model is no longer considered appropriate for AD care.41 There is a growing trend in healthcare to focus on the individual’s “strengths, interests, positive functions, needs, and characteristics” instead of their disease.41,101 This is called “personhood.” The concept of personhood has shifted the way healthcare providers think about AD and those diagnosed with AD. It is a vital element for developing rapport and trust.
The dental providers choice of words contribute to delivering “person-centered” care.41 Person-centered language should be respectful, courteous, and “not diminish the uniqueness and intrinsic value of each person.”102 The Alzheimer Society of Canada developed the Person Centred Language Guidelines which are available at:
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