Dementia Does Not Define Me

Dementia does not define who I am. It is merely a small part of the many facets of my
life, affecting decisions and changes in how I live.

I am Laurie Scherrer, and I am a wife, a writer, a SCUBA Diver, an educator, and an advocate. I’m a traveler and a speaker. Oh, and I am also living with dementia.

People that live with dementia should not be reduced to simply a diagnostic label
pronounced by a doctor. Nor should they be stigmatized by a society that sees the
diagnosis rather than individual abilities and identities.

Living with dementia does not automatically equal total memory loss, inability to make
our own decisions, nor undeserving of living an independent life enriched with purpose,
beauty, and fulfillment.

We are not defined solely by a label of dementia. As with most people, we are the
cultivation of our upbringing, culture, spiritual fulfillment, lived experiences,
accomplishments, failures, and our many challenges.

The medical profession and those in our communities often perceive us as incapable of
contributing to any aspect of daily living. We are viewed as dying of dementia rather
than LIVING WITH dementia. We are viewed as having limitations, which makes us feel
worthless and incompetent.

Together, we will lift our voices to shout out that we are not a label and dementia does
not define who we are. Together we can focus on our abilities, not our inabilities, and on how we can be of help to others and thus help ourselves.

Love & Laughter,


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