Care and rhythmanalysis: Using metastability to understand the routines of dementia care
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.
Meaningful Mobility: a novel approach to movement within and between places in later life
European Research CouncilFind out more...
Author affiliationSchool of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester
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