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PL4. Dementia friendly society

Detailed programme, abstracts and presentations

PL4.1. Ageing-in-place: Living arrangements for people with dementia in the community

van Hoof Joost

Ageing-in-place is the preferred way of living for older individuals in an ageing society. This can be facilitated through architectural and technological solutions in the home environment. Dementia poses additional challenges when designing, constructing, or retrofitting housing facilities that support ageing-in-place. Older adults with dementia and their partners ask for living environments that support independence, compensate for declining and vitality, and lower the burden of family care.

The evidence-based design process of a demonstration home for people with dementia is described, which was performed through literature review and focus group sessions. This design incorporates modifications in terms of architecture, interior design, the indoor environment, and technological solutions. Current design guidelines are frequently based on small-scale studies, and, therefore, more systematic field research should be performed to provide further evidence for the efficacy of solutions. The demonstration dwelling is used as an educational and training setting for professionals from the fields of nursing, construction, and building services engineering.

PL4.2. Persistence of the self in dementia

Aquilina Carmelo

It has long been assumed that the “self” is lost in dementia but that “personhood” persists. “Personhood” is the product of the social interaction between the individual and their surroundings and the attribution of individuality to any being. “Self” is a neurologically based cognitive and affective subjective construct through which an individual human being experiences a sense of identity. This loss of “self” is central to the “living death” is part of the horror that people feel about dementia. As a way of overcoming this seemingly inevitable biological destiny “personhood” has been constructed as an extended “self” which can survive the degeneration of the physical brain. Evidence is presented from semantics, behaviour and clinical treatment of people with dementia which suggests that the individual “self” survives longer than expected. Respectful care of a person with dementia requires a willingness to acknowledge the persistent self and to find ways of communicating with it.

PL4.3. Dementia care: personal journeys to dementia friendly societies

Innes Anthea

In the past decade, policy, practice, academic and clinical discourse surrounding dementia has changed and developed at a fast pace. This paper will set the contemporary UK ‘dementia friendly’ challenge agenda within the context of a rapidly changing global landscape. The importance of remembering the person and their individual needs remains, however there is growing recognition that for an individual to live well with dementia requires the support and action of wider society whether this is shops, banks, transport providers or formal care service providers. The achievements in our field to become more dementia friendly will be highlighted as will the ongoing challenges.



Last Updated: Monday 04 November 2013


  • Acknowledgements

    The 23rd Alzheimer Europe Conference in St. Julian's, Malta received funding from the European Union, in the framework of the Health Programme. Alzheimer Europe and the Malta Dementia Society gratefully acknowledge the additional support provided by foundations and companies.
  • European Union