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Finding meaning in everyday life with dementia: A case study

Robertson J (2014) Finding meaning in everyday life with dementia: A case study. Dementia, 13 (4), pp. 509-527.

This paper presents a case study exploring an older woman’s perspective on the quality of her life with dementia. The case study establishes the importance of coherence across the life course in understanding how she evaluates her changed situation in the present compared to the past. The metaphoric description of moving from 'up there' to 'down here' represents the perceived struggle to maintain a sense of worth despite a marginalised social position. Being able to define self and social identity in ways that preserve a sense of social status is important to find meaning in everyday life. Finding meaning involves looking backwards to sustain continuity with the past and looking forwards to maintain momentum and keep going. A narrative framework is valuable in showing that quality of life is a dimension of meaning associated with maintaining a sense of social worth.

ageing; dementia; everyday life; identity; narrative

Dementia: Volume 13, Issue 4

Author(s)Robertson, Jane
Publication date31/07/2014
Publication date online17/03/2013
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