Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/24968
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: When walking becomes wandering: representing the fear of the fourth age
Authors: Brittain, Katie
Degnen, Cathrine
Gibson, Grant
Dickinson, Claire
Robinson, Louise
Contact Email: grant.gibson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: dementia
wandering
fourth age
walking
place attachment
sense of place
mind-body
technology
Issue Date: Feb-2017
Citation: Brittain K, Degnen C, Gibson G, Dickinson C & Robinson L (2017) When walking becomes wandering: representing the fear of the fourth age, Sociology of Health and Illness, 39 (2), pp. 270-284.
Abstract: Dementia is linked to behavioural changes that are perceived as challenging to care practices. One such behavioural change is ‘wandering’, something that is often deeply feared by carers and by people with dementia themselves. Understanding how behavioural changes like wandering are experienced as problematic is critically important in current discussions about the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. In this article we draw on our secondary analysis of qualitative interviews and focus groups with carers of people with dementia to critically question ‘when does walking become wandering’? Drawing on theoretical perspectives from anthropology, sociology and human geography to explore experiences of carers and of people with dementia, we argue that a conceptual shift occurs in how pedestrian activity, usually represented as something purposeful, meaningful and healthy (walking) is seen as something threatening that needs managing (wandering). We demonstrate how this shift is connected to cultural assumptions about the mind-body relationship in both walking and in dementia. We further argue that the narratives of carers about wandering challenge the notion of ‘aimless’ walking in the fourth age. This is because, as these narratives show, there are often pronounced links to specific areas and meaningful places where people with dementia walk to.
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12505
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Brittain, K., Degnen, C., Gibson, G., Dickinson, C. and Robinson, L. (2017), When walking becomes wandering: representing the fear of the fourth age. Sociology of Health and Illness, 39: 270–284, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12505 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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