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On being outdoors: How people with dementia experience and deal with vulnerabilities.

Bartlett, R. and Brannelly, T., 2019. On being outdoors: How people with dementia experience and deal with vulnerabilities. Social Science and Medicine, 235 (August), 112336.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.05.041


Vulnerability is a problematic label routinely applied to people with dementia, yet their situated experiences of vulnerability have not been prioritised or documented. Drawing on empirical data collected using a novel methodology - walking interviews with 15 people with dementia living in Southern England, followed by a sit-down interview that included a nominated family member - this paper advances understanding of how vulnerability is experienced and dealt with by people with dementia when outdoors, and at times shared with family carers. Data were analysed using abductive techniques; a thematic coding framework was created from the dataset, in addition to the application of critical theories of vulnerability and disability. We found that vulnerability is characterised by a sense of ‘ontological vulnerability’ for the person diagnosed with the condition - that is, an awareness of failing knowledge about oneself or the ‘rules’ of outdoor life, which individuals experienced emotionally and dealt with civically. People with dementia attempted to manage risks and anxieties, often doing this independently so as not to burden family members. These findings highlight how people with dementia experience and deal with vulnerability when outdoors, which others need to acknowledge and support to enable people with dementia and their families to work though these challenges, in a family-orientated way when risk planning.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:UK; civic life; dementia; disability; lived experience; outdoors; vulnerability;
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:32412
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:26 Jun 2019 11:57
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:16


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