Dementia and Place
Practices, Experiences and Connections

14: Conclusion: Dementia emplaced

In the Introduction to this book, we proposed that dementia and place are co-constitutive, discursively and experientially, but to date this relationship has yet to be given full consideration. This is not to overlook an extensive tradition of research into dementia and the environment, but rather to suggest that an explicit focus on how dementia comes to shape understandings and experiences of place, and vice versa, remains underdeveloped in the field of dementia studies. The preceding chapters find common ground or, more accurately, share a common starting point, of seeking to understand experiences of dementia through the locational lens of the neighbourhood. Yet while most of the chapters start out from here, few end up at the same end point. In part, this may be because a neighbourhood is a somewhat slippery concept, implying simultaneously a scale of perspective as well as a lived phenomenon worth investigating. Indeed, what emerges overall is how neighbourhoods can offer a particular position from which to enhance our understanding of life with dementia and, in turn, of how living with dementia provides sometimes unique and valuable ways of knowing what neighbourhoods are about.

The chapters demonstrate the diversity of theoretical and conceptual thinking about how we might approach and understand place-based experiences for those living with dementia. They also inform and extend the conceptual and theoretical stock of dementia studies, drawing on ideas already in circulation, such as personhood and social citizenship (Chapter 10), and borrowing from other disciplines and perspectives, such as transactional perspectives and place integration (Chapter 4), relational space (Chapter 2), models of social health (Chapter 11) and performativity (Chapter 7).

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