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How to Design for People with Alzheimer’s by Henri Snel, Ruud Hendriks, and Ike Kampho

8 June 2017
The coming decades will see significant increases in the number of Alzheimer’s patients and the need for specific care homes.

On 8 June, researcher Henri Snel speaks about the state of research into Alzheimer’s disease and present and future living conditions for people with the disease. His research offers insights into the proper accommodation and facilities that caring for these patients requires: homes with healing architecture, a more human approach to resource management, and the best possible electronic surveillance and artificial intelligence.

Ruud Hendriks and Ike Kamphof, both affiliated with Maastricht University, will respond to Snel’s lecture through their research into the beneficial effects of ‘make-believe’ in supporting people with dementia. The research focuses on new methods and technologies to help people with dementia and to improve their care. Nostalgic door panels give a sense of being at home, social robots provide companionship to patients, and games and virtual reality installations offer pleasant experiences. Do such things manipulate, are they deceptive, or do they simply support people with dementia? Based on their findings, Hendriks and Kamphof designed a training module that helps caregivers and designers to answer this ethical question according to the context.

Henri Snel
Since his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s twenty years ago, Henri Snel has been actively involved in researching the disease and its consequences, resulting in a series of research projects on the living conditions of Alzheimer’s patients, from his own professional, architectural point of view. Snel wants his PhD research on safe environments within Alzheimer’s care to contribute to the general discussion about the disease and to provide possible solutions to improving living conditions for future Alzheimer’s patients. Snel works with specialists in the fields of dementia, Alzheimer’s, psychology, health and healthcare, music therapy, haptic therapy, architecture, interior design, art, and design.

Ruud Hendriks
Initially trained as a disability care nurse, Ruud Hendriks studied Health Sciences and followed research training at the Netherlands Graduate School of Science, Technology and Society Studies. His research focuses on art and technology in relation to mental health care. His publications deal with the normative aspects of clown skills in treating people with dementia and the sociocultural aspects of autism spectrum disorders. Therefore, Hendriks aims to contribute to a cultural science perspective on neurocognitive diversity as a critical addition to dominant neurobiological and neuropsychological approaches. Hendriks is part of the Philosophy department at the Faculty of Culture and Social Sciences at Maastricht University.

Ike Kamphof
Ike Kamphof worked for several years in business, then earned her doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Leuven with a thesis on the beautiful and sublime in art. Since 2003, she is a philosopher at the Faculty of Culture and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. Her book of essays on contemporary spectatorship, Iedereen voyeur: kijken en bekeken worden in de 21e eeuw (Everyone a Voyeur: Looking and Watching in the 21st Century), was published in 2013. Kamphof’s current research is at the crossroads of aesthetics and ethics and questions how new media and technology mediate care relations, for example in nature conservation and care of the elderly. Together with Ruud Hendriks and Tsjalling Swierstra, Kamphof is currently investigating the moral role of objects in dementia care.

Date: Thursday 8 June, 20:00–22:00
Language: English
Admission: Free
Location: Bureau Europa