Features

Sticky notes

I remember when I was a lot younger and my grandmother was still alive, her flat became increasingly filled with small pieces of paper attached by tape to an apparently random collection of things. On each paper was written the name of the object it was stuck to; ‘toaster’, ‘cooker’, ‘sink’, ‘chair’ and so on. Over time, as she forgot …

Features

Disrupted connections: On participation in caring for a mother with dementia

On a sunny, stifling afternoon, my friend, an Ayurvedic doctor, ushers me into a scantily furnished examining room of his clinic in central Kerala, South India. There, a small, stout woman sits on a chair. Her name is Mercy.1 She is wearing a salwar kameez, an outfit comprising of a long shirt, baggy pants and a scarf, rather …

Books

Melinda Cooper’s Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism

Melinda Cooper

MIT Press, 2017, 416 pages.

 

Neoliberal policy in the United States sometimes seems internally contradictory.  Why oppose the estate tax if you support a meritocracy based on how the market values individuals?  Why oppose universal health coverage or public education if you want everyone to have an equal …

Features

Burning down the house: When crisis becomes daily life in early-onset dementia

For my doctoral research, I interviewed family members living with a loved one with early-onset dementia, a diagnosis that one receives under the age of 65. Jans, not his real name, was the fourth person I interviewed in April 2015. Since he lived in a remote village in the east of the Netherlands, we met at a train station to …

Features

George, the dog

Babe, my grandpa, was born on the kitchen tiles of a small Seattle home. His dad, whose own grandpa had run a seedy downtown brothel, would disappear and reappear throughout his life. But Babe was not like the men who came before him. He spent his youth delivering newspapers and parking cars to support his mother, went to war when …

Features

Six photos of my father at 91

I have chosen to tell a story based on six photographs I took of my father, Ivio Duranti (1918-2009) in the last year of his life. He was never diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease, but he definitely had some of the symptoms of dementia, including memory loss, disorientation, apathy, reduced speech production, and occasional hallucinations, even though he seemed able …