2.3. Explain why dementia should be viewed as a disability

2.3. Explain why dementia should be viewed as a disability

Dementia Awareness

Care Learning

4 mins READ

This guide will help you answer the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Award in Awareness of Dementia Unit 2.3. Explain why dementia should be viewed as a disability.

Dementia can have a profound impact on individuals and their loved ones. Recognising dementia as a disability, rather than merely a part of ageing, is crucial. Doing so ensures that people with dementia receive the necessary care, support, and legal protection. This view aligns with both a medical and social understanding of disability.

Let’s delve into why this perspective is so important.

The Nature of Dementia

Dementia is a collective term for various degenerative brain conditions. These conditions primarily affect memory, thinking, and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, but there are others, such as vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.

Definition of Disability

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal daily activities. This definition applies to dementia, given its progressive nature and significant impact on daily life.

Functional Impairments in Dementia

Cognitive Decline

Dementia leads to memory loss, confusion, and difficulties with problem-solving and communication. These cognitive impairments hinder an individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks, such as managing finances, cooking, or even recognising loved ones.

Physical Decline

Although dementia primarily affects the brain, it can also lead to physical disabilities. People with dementia might have trouble with mobility, balance, and co-ordination. These challenges increase the risk of falls and other injuries.

Impact on Daily Life

Personal Care

People with dementia often struggle with personal care activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. As the condition progresses, they may become entirely dependent on others for these activities.

Social Interaction

Dementia can make social interactions challenging. Individuals may struggle to follow conversations or recognise familiar faces. This can lead to social isolation and a reduced quality of life.

Work and Financial Management

Due to cognitive impairments, individuals with dementia may find it impossible to maintain employment or manage their finances. This can lead to financial difficulties and requires intervention for proper financial management and planning.

Legal Recognition and Protection

Viewing dementia as a disability ensures legal protection under the Equality Act 2010. This inclusion guarantees that individuals with dementia are protected from discrimination and have the right to reasonable adjustments in various settings, such as the workplace and public services.

Access to Services and Support

Health and Social Care Services

Recognising dementia as a disability ensures that individuals receive appropriate health and social care services. This can include tailored care plans, access to specialist healthcare professionals, and the provision of necessary equipment and adaptations in the home.

Financial Benefits

People with dementia, as recognised disabled individuals, might be eligible for financial support. This can include benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance. These benefits can help cover additional costs associated with care and daily living needs.

Enhanced Awareness and Acceptance

View dementia as a disability promotes greater awareness and acceptance. It encourages society to understand the challenges faced by people with dementia and fosters a more inclusive environment. This perspective also helps reduce stigma and misinformation surrounding the condition.

Advocacy and Human Rights

Recognising dementia as a disability empowers individuals and their families to advocate for their rights. With this recognition, they can challenge unfair treatment and ensure that their needs are met. It also affirms their human rights, ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect.

Role of Care Workers

Tailored Support

Understanding dementia as a disability allows care workers to provide more tailored and sensitive support. They can adopt person-centred care approaches that focus on the individual’s unique needs, preferences, and abilities.

Training and Education

Care workers need specific training to effectively support individuals with dementia. Recognising dementia as a disability emphasises the importance of specialised education to equip care workers with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver high-quality care.

Example answers for Unit 2.3. Explain why dementia should be viewed as a disability

Example 1

I think dementia should be viewed as a disability because it significantly affects a person’s daily life. People with dementia struggle with memory, thinking, and communication. These difficulties make it hard for them to do everyday tasks like cooking or shopping. Recognising it as a disability ensures they get the support and care they need.

Example 2

Dementia affects much more than just memory. Individuals with dementia often have trouble with personal care, such as bathing and dressing. They might also struggle to recognise family members or follow simple instructions. By viewing dementia as a disability, we can ensure they receive legal protections and appropriate health and social care services.

Example 3

Seeing dementia as a disability is important because it acknowledges the severe impact on cognitive and physical abilities. This view helps ensure that people with dementia can access financial benefits and health services. It also promotes a more inclusive society that understands their struggles and works to support them better.

Example 4

Dementia should be viewed as a disability because it causes substantial challenges in daily activities. From managing finances to maintaining personal hygiene, the impairments caused by dementia are profound. Recognising this helps in making reasonable adjustments in workplaces and public services to support those affected.

Example 5

When we see dementia as a disability, it highlights the need for specialised care and legal protection. People with dementia face numerous difficulties, like confusion and mobility issues, which can severely limit their independence. This perspective ensures they are treated fairly and receive the support they need to maintain a decent quality of life.

Example 6

Viewing dementia as a disability ensures that people with dementia are not unfairly discriminated against. It recognises the extensive impact on mental and physical health. This allows for better access to care services and financial benefits, making it easier for individuals and their families to cope with the challenges that come with dementia.


Viewing dementia as a disability is not just a semantic distinction. It has profound implications for the care, support, and legal protection of individuals with dementia. It ensures that they receive the appropriate services, benefits, and rights to improve their quality of life. It also promotes a more inclusive and understanding society, where individuals with dementia are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

By adopting this perspective, we can better address the complex challenges associated with dementia and work towards a more supportive environment for everyone affected by this condition.

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