Temporalities of dementia

We are very happy to welcome you to another online seminar hosted by the Critical dementia
network. The seminar, entitled “Temporalities of dementia”, took place on the 3rd of December 3pm-4.30 PM (GMT).

An opportunity to talk about the temporalities of dementia is… timely. After all, why is it that with such growing interest in the social and spatial experience of dementia that a relationship with time has been so persistently overlooked? Indeed, a recent review (Eriksen et al 2020) was unable to find any studies that set out to explore the experience of time for people living with dementia. Perhaps this is a sign of what Sharma (2014) describes as a spatial bias within cultures of the west and a tendency to seek out spatial solutions to temporal challenges. Of course, within a biomedical context, orientation to time has long served as a guide to the presence and severity of cognitive impairment, leading to some of the starkest representations of the condition. Graphs intended to show progression of dementia over time use a single downward line to suggest steady and relentless decline. And we know from accounts by people living with dementia how such visualisations translate into healthcare practice. The activist Kate Swaffer (2015) described receipt of a diagnosis in her 50’s as an example of ‘prescribed disengagement’: ‘this sets us up to live a life without hope or any sense of a future’. Such ‘foreclosed futures’ (Kafer 2013) in the biomedicalization of dementia rely upon an unexamined construct of time as singular, linear and readily quantifiable. In this symposium our aim is to disrupt this thinking, to question current temporal framings of dementia and to go beyond the dominance of clock time to reveal the wider complexity of temporal relations associated with dementia.

We heard from the following five scholars with an interest in the temporalities of dementia and whose work is critical of narrow chronometric framings of dementia and care.

  • “Doing the Loop with Lucia”: Queer Aging and Continuity
    Celeste Pang, University of Toronto
  • Time, Memory and Dementia: An Becoming/Un-becoming Approach
    Stephen Katz, Trent University
  • “Bending the Clock”: Expanding Queer/Crip Time into Dementia Time
    Hailee Yoshizaki-Gibbons, Hiram College
  • Welcoming in Dementia Time: Crip Temporalities
    Nadine Changfoot, Trent University
  • Taking time: the temporal politics of dementia, care and support in a time of austerity
    Richard Ward, University of Stirling

You can view the video of the discussions below and if you have any questions or comments please add these to the comments section at the bottom of the page and we will do our best to respond or pass your question on to the relevant panel member. If you are not logged in to the website, you can still submit a comment but it will need to be approved before being published.

Temporalities of dementia