Encouraging Capability not Incapability

People with a diagnosis of dementia are capable of great things they have knowledge and skills built over a lifetime of action. It is not uncommon for somebody living with dementia to have the capacity to learn new skills and to develop creativity as part of their lifestyle. People living with dementia are capable of tackling current issues and partaking in debates. They have so much to offer beyond their diagnosis.

“A lot of people come in think we just sit here we don’t do anything. People with dementia can do great things” participant commentary

Dementia is an impactful illnesses but should not be seen as a label of incapability especially in the early to moderate stages. Instead, it might be framed as something that might interfere in the normal way of doing things, and that sometimes things need to be done differently. Over time the impairments will increase, however, large numbers of people living with dementia have highly effective, individual lifestyles and have great capacity to remain active and influential within society. With the right support and understanding people living with dementia are capable of wonderful, highly valuable and meaningful things that enrich, not only, their lives but those of others too.

Dementia is a term that covers a range of degenerative illnesses that affect the brain, that impacts upon a person’s memory often influencing cognitive reasoning and sometimes behaviour, for which there is currently no cure. Dementia, however, is not a catch-all term, there is no shared identical experience of the diseases that the term identifies (including Alzheimer’s). Everybody’s journey with the disease is unique where people living with dementia have personally unique interference in their lived experiences.

For more information on dementia visit Alzheimer Scotland

All too often it appears as if dementia is used as label; applied to suggest someone has surpassed their usefulness. designed with dementia is looking to change perceptions such as these by recognising the person with a diagnosis of dementia and building upon the highly valuable capabilities that makes them who they are. The purpose of which is to valuably include knowledge and skills developed during a lifetime of activity, in the production of design actions.

Recognising the person with a diagnosis of dementia and their capabilities and supporting ongoing social involvement, active participation and increasing self-esteem is the goal of designed with dementia. Knowing that interaction, involvement and independence support feeling value in oneself, maintaining self-esteem, leads to greater wellbeing or enjoyable lived experiences; the project aims to use design as social and practical facilitator.

“It’s good for your morale and good for your confidence” participant commentary