Archaeology as activity in dementia: A presentation of the potential effects of an active engagement in archaeology on the wellbeing of people living with dementia

Leiden Repository

Archaeology as activity in dementia: A presentation of the potential effects of an active engagement in archaeology on the wellbeing of people living with dementia

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Archaeology as activity in dementia: A presentation of the potential effects of an active engagement in archaeology on the wellbeing of people living with dementia
Author: Vonk, Lilla
Issue Date: 2016-08-31
Keywords: Archaeology, heritage, health, health care, wellbeing, quality of life, meaningful activity, dementia, dementia care.
Abstract: This research explores the potential effects of coming in contact with archaeology through active engagement for audiences with dementia, specifically with regard to wellbeing. The thesis is set up as an explorative research, which serves to test whether there are indications for a positive effect on wellbeing which warrant further systematic studying on a larger scale. Dementia is a term used to denote a syndrome that causes the progressive decline of cognitive ability, severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life. Dementia is often accompanied by negative psycho-social affects and has an adverse impact on quality of life and wellbeing. Currently, the prevalence of dementia is steadily increasing. While dementia causes severe psychosocial impact on individuals living with the syndrome, it has primarily been studied from a neuro-medical viewpoint. Understandings of the psychosocial consequences of the syndrome and implications with regard to wellbeing and quality of life are topics that have begun to emerge only recently. An involvement of other disciplines than the neurological and medical field can enrich the way dementia and its effects on the wellbeing of individuals are approached. This research reviews heritage-in-health and archaeology-in-health interventions and lays out a theoretical framework for the introduction of archaeology in dementia care, embedded in meaningful activity theory, existing therapies relevant in the context of dementia and person-centered dementia care. The ideas put forward in this thesis are tested in a small-scale quasi-experimental intervention. This research concludes that an active involvement in archaeology can facilitate high levels of engagement and can bring about quality moments, indicating a positive influence on wellbeing. Further research into these effects is warranted in order to gain a full understanding of archaeology’s potential to contribute to wellbeing in the context of health problems, and this research presents several avenues to pursue.
Supervisor: Kolen, Jan
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Research master)
Specialisation: Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World (research)
ECTS Credits: 35
Evaluation: Recommended
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/41873
 

Files in this item

Description Size View
application/pdf L Vonk thesis (final version).pdf 2.439Mb Under embargo

This item appears in the following Collection(s)