jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2016

Architecture as a practice to improve living conditions of inhabitants with Alzheimer's disease


The Alzheimer's disease is considered to be the epidemic of the present century, due to its increase as well as the decreasingly younger age at which it is diagnosed. Inhabitants with this disease remaining at home rather than residing in alternative care homes, show improvement in their integration and social cohesion which helps to preserve their sense of identity and postpones the progress of the disease.

The place where the patients and their relatives or caretakers live is therefore transformed into the object of study, research and architectural design. How should we plan and design spaces and environments that will bring more quality of life, independence and autonomy to patients and their caretakers? How can we design to the absence of memory?

This paper has presented the practices that architecture as a discipline, develops and creates for patients with Alzheimer's disease. The goal of these practices is to generate a space comfortable, safe, autonomous and independent, encouraging the social relationships between members of the same household and their caretakers. Examples have been exhibited based on national and international practices in which urban environments and spaces are designed, destined to improve the quality of life of this group. Architectural projects are presented on three different scales: urban-planning, collective residential buildings and domestic housing.

Organization of space, environmental control, configuration of visual aspects, incorporation of new adaptable technologies… these are some of the practices destined to design a space that will be a home where patients with Alzheimer can cohabitate in balance with their social environment.

This paper conclude by showing some of the results obtained in the research based on the relationship between environment, space and users with Alzheimer's disease. These are essential in the socio-emotional area, both of the patients and their environment.

Pablo Valero-Flores
Santiago Quesada-García

Seville, september 15th 2016