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Changing Time

History and dementia are both concerned with time. Writing history is all about folding time, making sense of things that have become confused and confusing with the passage of time by bringing different points into contact. And dementia, as the reflections in this series show, suggest different ways of experiencing and enacting time. These variations in dealing with time …

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The fool with the watering can, or asynchronous time travelling

One of the most bewildering and fascinating things about spending time with people with dementia is that they can rapidly travel through time. This was most clear with Mrs B., a daydreaming woman of 86. Her skin was deeply wrinkled and in the nursing home she kept pretty much to herself. One day, I had a long, stretched out conversation …

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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 …

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Re-enacting memories

One way to ‘think with dementia’ is to phenomenologically shift from ‘memory’ to ‘remembering’ and to mine ‘remembering’ for its qualities and potentialities as socio-culturally limned experience. Whereas ‘memory’ invokes static mappings of representation and world, ‘remembering’ is temporally emergent. Whereas ‘memory’ invokes individual capacities, ‘remembering’ is a situated, genre-ed activity that invites co-participation. ‘Remembering’ exudes qualities of performance, not …

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“I do want euthanasia, but not now.” Timing a request for euthanasia with dementia in the Netherlands

Sitting on orange seats in the corridor, Ms Verbeek, her niece Hannie and I are waiting for the general practitioner. Ms Verbeek seems a little restless and is quiet. She is 79 years old and lives by herself in a small town in the south of the Netherlands. We have met several times before, sometimes one on one, and sometimes …

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Folding time: walk-talking joint moments in the nursing home

We knew each other from the drop-in centre. Aspects of our daily life concerns had been shared. ‘We’ were drop-in centre participants: the majority had been diagnosed with a form of dementia and were living alone. Others were volunteering, overseeing the daily course of events or, like myself, doing research. We had shared with Willem (74) attempts at keeping up …