Alzheimer patients Interaction through Digital and Arts (AIDA)
Social inclusion lies at the very base of the society, which needs to be encouraged and promoted in order include disadvantaged and underrepresented users such as Alzheimer’s patients. In 2016, WHO and ADI (Alzheimer’s Disease International) Report, dementia was defined as ‘a global public health priority’. Recently, it has been estimated that there are around 46 million people in the world suffering from dementia, 50-60% of whom have Alzheimer’s disease. Due to an ageing population, the number of cases will triple in the next 30 years and by 2050 one in 85 people worldwide will be affected, for a total of 130 million people. Therefore, it is evident that there is a need to increase and expand the training of professionals who already work with Alzheimer’s patients through innovative practices, by creating a network and a team of experts.
The primary objective is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers, to promote respect for their dignity, to reduce the negative impact on communities and states by raising awareness and making dementia a priority. The ageing of the population implies an increase in leisure time for a growing segment of the population and requires specific dedicated services. Embracing the concept of lifelong learning, there is a need to design and promote activities and initiatives involving actors outside the health and social service. The promotion of such activities demonstrates the importance of the concept of lifelong learning because by stimulating the elderly to learn and to confront themselves with others, we may solve the problem of loneliness, combining culture and sharing. Seniors are more and more recognized as a social resource and not only as a “delicate” group with complex needs.
This awareness is also gaining importance in the medical-health field where there is a shift from a practice aimed at ‘producing healing’ to that of ‘caring’, that is, taking care of the patient. And it is from here that the GentleCare model (Moyra Jones) was developed: it starts from the premise of how a person with dementia undergoes a modification in their abilities to interact with reality. It will then be useful to build a ‘prosthesis’ around them to compensate and help them maintain their autonomyfor as long as possible and to minimize stressful situations that cause agitation, anxiety and aggression.
AIDA stands as a practice in response to these needs and as a means to help this category to react in the post-Covid-19 society and to get out of the state of loneliness that the pandemic has caused. It is well documented that culture nourishes and heals the fragile. The world of culture, the world of health and the world of the digital world must develop an alliance aimed at re- giving hope to the treatment centers, considering homes as refuges and squares as places of exchange; the body and soul of each person is to be seen as a starting point and not as an unbearable burden.