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‘Being’ and ‘doing’ well in the moment: Theoretical and relational contributions of health geography to living well with dementia

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/08/2023
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date11/08/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Over the past two decades, advancements have been made towards de‐medicalising the term ‘dementia’, attending to in‐the‐moment lived experiences of people with the condition, and exploring the connections between dementia and place, relations, activities, and well‐being. In the same timeframe, a range of prominent researchers within health geography have proposed new renegotiations of well‐being that consider it as something relational, process‐oriented, and emergent. Although these progressions in both dementia studies and health geography are ontologically aligned, the two lines of enquiry have only recently started to see crossover, pioneered by geographers seeking to better understand what it means to ‘live well with dementia in the moment’. In this theoretically driven paper, I celebrate these contributions to dementia and well‐being studies through a timely review of the literature that informed the theoretical underpinnings of my own doctoral studies. Through the literature, I consider how a relational well‐being lens can make supportive and empowering in‐the‐moment contributions to people living with dementia, who seek ways of ‘being well’ and ‘doing well’. As part of a special edition of Area, this paper takes us from the early inputs of health geographers to dementia and relational well‐being knowledge, through to present‐day literature and the future of dementia research framed around the in‐the‐moment movement. The contents of this paper ultimately support the importance of pushing the theoretical and conceptual boundaries of dementia research and well‐being studies, to subsequently broaden our understandings of dementia and provide a new well‐being lens that better captures the perspectives of those living with it.