ZonMw grant awarded

Dementia in metaphors: towards shared understanding and decision-making in families of various cultural backgrounds – dr.  Gert Olthuis and dr. Anke Oerlemans, dep. IQ Healthcare

In the elderly with roots outside the Netherlands, dementia is being diagnosed and treated insufficiently. We have limited knowledge about how these families experience the diagnosis of dementia and how the future of the patient is discussed. In our everyday language use, we discuss dementia using powerful metaphors: for instance ‘getting lost in your brain’ (verdwalen in je brein) or ‘dissolving into fog’ (opgaan in de mist). These metaphors shape our thinking: they create imagery that carry meanings. A proper mutual understanding is essential for shared understanding and decision-making on the diagnosis, and a future with dementia. This research project aims to gain insights in the manner in which distinct groups of patients and their closest ones give meaning to this illness in their everyday speaking and thinkingb y metaphors: the metaphor lab Amsterdam contributes one post-doc researcher to identify and analyze the metaphors in the spontaneous speech of patients and their caregivers.

Simone Wolfswinkel • September 21, 2017


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