Dementia is the generic term for more than 50 different forms of dementia that affect the brain function (ICD-10, www.dimdi.de). The initial signs include particularly forgetfulness. Our younger and older narrators talk about the various limitations caused by dementia and how the disease leads to an extensive reorientation in life.
In addition to people with dementia, in this module caregivers who provide or have provided help over a long period of time talk about their experiences as well. Caregivers are the most important support. Dementia care is time-intensive and often affects not only one person but the family as whole. The caregivers take on functional activities every day, but also social tasks. They keep their partners in the community, advocate for them in medical and nursing treatment and in the social environment. As well, they are concerned about a suitable place for them to live.
Dementia care starts very early and develops towards “permanently physically being there”. Where the person with dementia should live, if or when she or he will transfer to a nursing home, is a concern for both the person with dementia and their relatives.
The narratives make the invisible sides of dementia visible. How is dementia experienced? How can there be seen opportunities to shape life despite the lack of cure? What does dementia care mean? What is difficult about it? Concrete concerns of the patients and caregivers in various fields of society are highlighted.
You can watch the excerpts from the interviews as videos, listen to them or read them as text.
This module is made possible by financial support from Alzheimer’s Switzerland.