Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alzheimer’s in the “Real” World: Treating a Perception-Altering Disease

(please excuse my voice... I have a bit of a cold)

The paper I wrote for this final assignment is about Alzheimer’s as a perception-altering disease. Using some of the theory that we discussed in this course (Bruner and Baudrillard, specifically) my paper looks into three different, holistic treatments that currently exists to treat dementia. TimeSlips is a creative storytelling program that allows patients with dementia to collaboratively narrate a story based on a photograph they are shown. This allows them to escape being forced to try to remember things they no longer have access to as well as the skills to maybe try to put some order to their memories and life’s story. The Bus Stop is another treatment I found, one that is based on the idea that dementia patients need to be able to meditate for a period of time on their anxiety, aggression, or wandering feelings. This fake bus stop is the way for them to do that while still allowing them to think they are waiting for their transportation to take them where they think they want to go. Dementia Village is the last treatment I looked at and certainly the most complex one. This is a village that is made to be a fully functioning place for only dementia patients. It has specifically designed rooms so they feel as at home and as normal as possible, as well as functioning shops and boutiques in town. It is meant to trick patients into thinking they are living their independent lives like they used to even though they are elderly and have memory issues. While Alzheimer’s is a disease that is currently incurable, these holistic treatments seem to be far more effective than the medicine that is on the market.

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