Dementia friendliness – discourse, discursive and social practice

National initiatives in making Denmark dementia-friendly is subject to intense national attention. Inspired by the Dutch dementia village Hogeweyk, a relatively new initiative in developing dementia-friendly surroundings and villages is being observed in both national and municipal efforts. However, the interpretation of dementia-friendly concept is influenced by cultural settings, and therefore different perspectives emerge which makes the meaning of being dementia-friendly ambiguous to a certain extent.

The project examines the utilization and meaning of dementia-friendly from different perspectives: 1) a social perspective, 2) a perspective of people with dementia and their relatives and 3) a perspective of professionals involved in dementia care including initiators/project workers in relation to developing dementia-friendly surroundings and villages.

The empirical material will consist of official national and international documents on dementia-friendliness and dementia-friendly housing sectors, qualitative interviews with people with dementia and their relatives, professionals engaged in developing dementia-friendly surroundings and participant observation in the everyday life of people with dementia and their relatives. In addition, inspired by Normann Fairclough, critical discourse analysis will constitute the project's theoretical framework and analytical approach. 

The aim of the project is to establish knowledge about, how dementia-friendliness is being understood from different perspectives and how it can be implemented in practice. Based on this knowledge, recommendations will be formulated which can help conceptualize and provide a structural framework for developing dementia-friendly surroundings and neighborhoods nationally.

PhD studentTania Erika Aniol Hansen

Period: 2017 – 2020  

Employment: University College Absalon and Research Unit of User Perspectives, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark

Supervisors
Associate p
rofessor, PhD, Birgitte Nørgaard, Research Unit of User Perspectives, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark (principal supervisor)

Reader, DrMedSc, MSc, physiotherapist, Jeanette Præstegaard, University College Absalon

Ph.d., Msc, occupational therapist, Mette Andresen, University College Absalon

Professor with special responsibilities, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark