Designing a multiculturally sensitive Dementia home
“In this report I have focused on the argumentation behind creating a multicultural sensitive dementia care centre in the centre of Rotterdam. With our ageing population it has become clear that the number of elderly suffering from dementia will increase and the need for appropriate healthcare facilities has become bigger. Within the multicultural complexion of the inhabitants of Rotterdam it only seems logical to also consider elderly from non-Dutch communities and creating an environment where they will feel welcome too. My research question is ‘What are the current obstacles non-western immigrant elderly experience when considering a traditional nursing home?’ with the sub-question ‘What would make them feel more welcome?’ By literature analysis, documentaries, interviews and a large case study I have found a series of obstacles; the limitation (or lack of) speaking Dutch, the cultural and religious responsibility children see in taken care of their parent, the taboo and unawareness of dementia characteristics, the lack of appropriate food, no possibility of practising personal beliefs or religion and most of all; the heavy burden of accepting that you will not return to your home country and die somewhere that is not your home.
From these points I have gathered conclusions for the requirement of care giving, the requirements of the building as well as for individual spaces. These stay on a practical level. Further I have made a deeper conclusion which talks about the change that needs to happen within the tight-knit communities where the immigrant elderly are living now, the need of showing respect and listening to your vulnerable user group and the subject of universal beauty; because in the end, a good space is a good space, no matter where you’re from.”
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