Ideas: 1 – Participation through experience

Idea number 1 – is to create a room where everyone can experience what is like to live with early-onset of dementia. The aim is to change old perceptions that alzheimer’s/dementia is an age-related illness. The disease could attack every person as young as in their late 40’s and no matter what life-style they’ve had (healthy, active, academic, etc.) Therefore, I aim so that everyone would be able to recognise early-onset dementia symptoms quickly, because unlike cancer or AIDS which illness can be seen physically fairly quickly, early-onset dementia can not be seen physically. Its symptoms can only be seen through changes of behaviour that we need to observe through time hence the disease attacks our memory stored in the brain, effects the way we feel/mood and changes personality. As soon as we received proper diagnosis, the better we understand what type of dementia we have and make our plans for the present and future.

But most importantly is that by understanding symptoms of early-onset alzheimer’s we can provide more friendly environment for people with alzheimer’s/dementia. For example, If we meet a person with dementia doing their everyday chores but suddenly they forget what they meant to do or where they are going, we can patiently assist them so they can remember what they intended to do or where they wanted to go. We need to create the friendly environment everywhere, in schools, in the shops, at the office, community leisure centres, and so on. This is not only applies for assisting dementia patients to get through the day but will also support their family and carers.

Early-onset dementia symptoms is when we loss ability in speech/language, reading, coordination, calculating, planning and short term memory lost.

Things planned to be included in the participation:

  • To include continuing buzzing sound/noise (with headphone) that could influence the thought process (perceived from experiences) of normal people. When our thinking process to do activities is disturb, out concentration/focus is effected and we would not be able to do simple chores, for example putting the right pair of socks on or putting shirts back into drawer, and so on. Background noise (i.e mix of traffic, road works, jet plane) can increase the stress level and decrease concentration. “Excess cortisol impairs function in the prefrontal cortex—an emotional learning centre that helps to regulate “executive” functions such as planning, reasoning and impulse control. Some recent evidence indicates that the prefrontal cortex also stores short-term memories. Changes to this region, therefore, may disrupt a person’s capacity to think clearly and to retain information.To invite normal people do simple everyday chores when they enter the installation.” (Mark A.W. Andrews, University of Seton Hill – Osteophatic Medicine college, http://www.scientificamerica.com accessed Nov.14, 2015)
  • To invite public to get do a simple everyday chores
  • To get feedback from the experience
  • The objects may/will be made out of thread and textile. 
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