The presence of persons with dementia in many households, and in all communities in Sweden, is becoming a ‘new normal’ state of affairs, given demographic trends of increasing longevity and an ageing population. The biomedical model of dementia research focuses on cognitive and neurological impairments, with a view towards disease management and medical treatment.

This program presents a different perspective on living with dementia: Our focus is on what people with dementia can do, the collaborations they are capable of, and the importance of social and environmental networks to enable social inclusion and participation. By means of four distinct but methodologically and theoretically interconnected projects, we address four areas that are central to living well with dementia:

  1. how can collaborative activities in daily life be organized in order to maximize participation and inclusion
  2. how can the use and sharing of personal expertise by persons with dementia be developed as a principle of person-centered care
  3. what is the role of external resources, for instance information and communication technology, for enhanced communication for persons with dementia
  4. what is the role and impact of linguistic and cultural diversity in social and care encounters involving persons with dementia.

Our program aims at complementing the mainstream biomedical model of dementia both philosophically and methodologically: By conducting high-quality qualitative studies, we are able to focus on the lived realities of people with dementia. By focusing on skills, routines and networks to increase participation, inclusion, and agency, we can contribute not only to quality of life for persons with dementia, but also for their caregivers (informal or professional). Life with dementia is becoming an increasingly long-term reality for many individuals, families and communities in Sweden, and the question, how to live well with dementia, needs to be addressed urgently.

Projektledare: Lars-Christer Hydén, Linköping University

Projektdeltagare: Gunilla Jansson

Projektmedel från Forte (Grant no: 2016-07207)