Salutogenesis for Dementia patients; the potentials of a Healing Environment
“Dementia is the general term for the decline in mental abilities. The decline has to be severe enough to interfere with daily life in order for it to be recognised as a type of dementia disease. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease. This concerns foremost the loss of a person’s (short) term memory. Over time this becomes worse and progresses in the end to the loss of emotional expression, social contact and speech. Vascular dementia often occurs after having a stroke and it is the second most common form of dementia. It shows mainly in a decline in thinking skills as a reduced blood flow to the brain deprives the brain cells of vital oxygen and nutrients. All types of dementia are based around the effects of brain cells coming to the end of their life and slowly dying off.
Right now there is no cure to stop this process. Many of its sufferers will eventually die from the symptoms. Yet people with diagnosed dementia are not to be treated the same as terminal patients who’ve only got months to live. As research and technology keeps on developing, many people diagnosed with a dementia disease will live anywhere between 5 to 20 years. Their inability to live at home without the assistance of medical staff will result in an increase of facilities that deal with severely demented patients. The quality of life within these facilities will largely depend on the design positions that designers from today take stand in. One of which includes the use of the healing environment gardens and more general outdoor space.”
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