Person-Centered Language

Words matter, and can influence the way we think and feel about ourselves. The Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA) is committed to using person-centered language when speaking about people living with dementia and those who support them.

The terms we use were established by our Lived Experience Advisory Partners (LEAP) Council, and are necessary communication tools for TDRA. We recognize that these terms will not resonate with everyone, and we encourage each individual to understand and speak about their identity in a way that makes sense to them. See below for standard TDRA terms and their definitions.

Person living with dementia

A person who has been diagnosed with any type of dementia. Or, persons living with loss of abilities across cognitive, functional, or behavioral domains that are consistent with dementias, but who do not have a formal diagnosis.

Caregiver/care partner

A person who cares for or supports a person living with dementia, sometimes in partnership with them. This may include family members, friends, or other healthcare system supports (e.g., personal support workers, home nursing care).