Dementia, care and technologies
An interactive event to explore dementia, care and technologies
This interactive event aims to bring experts in the field of ageing studies and social gerontology together with scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS) to stimulate dialogue across scholars from age studies/gerontology and STS on this topic and unravel the differences between the perspectives as well as their contributions to the field.
In recent decades, dementia has been framed and discussed as one of the biggest challenges to our ageing societies. Although dementia is not perceived as a direct result of ageing, age is the greatest explanatory factor for dementia. Hence, as life expectancy increases, it is expected that the number of people affected by dementia will grow in the future. Whilst curative (disease modifying) interventions remain limited, this imagined future has infused the field of dementia with a sense of urgency and prompted discussions about how to prevent dementia or improve quality of life. In these discussions, new technologies designed to be used in dementia care are promoted as enabling persons with dementia to live independently alongside providing better and more efficiency in care.
Scholars across the disciplines of ageing studies, gerontology and Science and Technology Studies (STS) have explored this development from different angles; gerontologists have researched the ‘impact’ of technologies on persons with dementia, focusing primarily on the adaptability or everyday use of technologies among persons with dementia and their carers. Critical gerontologists have shown how technologies are inscribed with specific connotations of age and dementia, thus reproducing an image of persons with dementia as vulnerable and in need of care. Scholars from STS, on the other hand, have shown how technologies and their workings are the outcome of a complex arrangement of both human and non-human actors, meaning that technologies and their functionalities are multiple, and that care is an ongoing accomplishment that might be ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
• Confirmed speakers to give short (10 min) provocations are:
o Jennifer Lynch, University of Herfordshire
o Doris Lydahl, University of Gothenburg
o Grant Gibson, University of Stirling
o Nete Schwennesen, University of Copenhagen