We need to change this.
Alzheimer's is a specific disease and the most common form of dementia, affecting up to 90% of people living with dementia.
Dementia is not a part of normal aging and seeking an early diagnosis can be advantageous. It can help rule out any other medical conditions, help to understand any symptoms you may be experiencing, and access support as early as possible including any treatments which may help manage some of the symptoms.
Dementia is one of the biggest health and social care crises we are facing globally. The number of people estimated to be diagnosed with dementia is projected to reach 82 million by 2030.
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life, such as: memory loss; difficulty performing familiar tasks; problems with language; disorientation to time and place; poor or decreased judgement; problems keeping track of things; misplacing things; changes in mood and behaviour; challenge in understanding visual and spatial information and withdrawal from work or social activities.
Continuing to understand the symptoms of dementia, and importantly, how these symptoms impact the day to day lives of people living with a diagnosis of dementia – and by extension, their carers – is central to shifting societal attitudes towards how we treat, value, design, and care for those living with Dementia.
At Life3A we think a big part of this shift in thinking lies with designers (architects, fashion designers, industrial designers, advertisers etc), service planners, and care providers to reach out and directly engage with people – and their carers – who are living with a diagnosis of dementia.
We strongly subscribe to a consultative design process which invites consumers to contribute their lived experiences; to share ideas; to describe how day to day activities are impacted and how relationships are affected; to ask what changes or approaches are needed to really make a difference; to invite critical design reviews review; and to co-create and co-design outcomes together.
Our Director of Research, Nikki Beckman, is currently undertaking a PhD at Deakin University, researching the intersection between people, place, and purpose – as we age – and how these critical relationships impact the lived experiences of residents living in care communities.
Life3A is committed to research, education and evolving key design strategies to advance the role of architecture in creating deeply empathetic but enabling environments that, when paired with high quality care, holistically support the person diagnosed with dementia – including their carer, family and friends – to live their best life.