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Care and rhythmanalysis: Using metastability to understand the routines of dementia care

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-04, 08:51 authored by Tessa Osborne, Thomas Lowe, Louise Meijering

An increasing number of people living with dementia worldwide receive informal care from their family members. A key element of dementia care is maintaining a daily routine and familiarity, making caring an extremely rhythmic practice. To explore the rhythmic nature of informal care, we apply and advance Lefebvre's unfinished rhythmanalysis by developing an original typology of eurhythmia as a metastable equilibrium. Metastability, although appearing macroscopically stable, is a vulnerable state where a slight disturbance can result in deviation to another state (i.e., stable or unstable). Drawing upon interviews with informal caregivers, we discuss the rhythms and (dis)harmonies of caring practice, including the substantial rhythms of caring practice, the relational balance of rhythms between the caregiver and care recipient, and the various rhythmic disruptions that occur. We demonstrate how metastability provides an understanding of the ever-changing rhythms of every day and allows us to move beyond the immediacy of arrhythmic breaks and explore the subtle changes that occur in (poly)rhythms. Thus, eurhythmia as a metastable equilibrium allows us to explore the gradual and subtle development of, and changes to, dementia care and other routine practices in health geography.

Funding

Meaningful Mobility: a novel approach to movement within and between places in later life

European Research Council

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History

Author affiliation

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Social Science and Medicine

Volume

331

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

1873-5347

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2023-08-04

Language

en

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