Personhood In Dementia


A treasured piece of jewellery can bring back a whole flurry of memories.

A team of craft practitioners and technologists are investigating how objects can be used to help dementia sufferers remember crucial details about their lives. SiDE is working with people with early-stage dementia to see how items can restore a sense of self by restoring memories of the past, of their interests and their personality.

The project has developed through collaboration with Gillian, who suffers from early-stage dementia. Gillian was very interested in dresses, and even made some of her own. Her husband John kept remnants of these dress fabrics, and they formed part of items which helped jog her memories.

These included recording and linking speech and sounds to each piece of fabric, so that they enable her to recall a particular moment in time. Researchers also created a locket with a digital screen displaying pictures.

Instead of merely managing the condition, the Personhood project enables family and friends to contribute to activities which help a person maintain a sense of self and identity.

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