The securitisation of dementia: socialities of securitisation on secure dementia care units | ME Graham | Ageing & Society

Nearly 50 million people around the world live with dementia, with statistics predicting a steady increase in prevalence for the foreseeable future. There is a need for comprehensive and compassionate dementia care. Long-term care homes have built special care units for people living with middle- to late-stage dementia. Among other services, these care units often use innovative security technologies that monitor and curtail movement beyond unit exit doors. As care-givers and technology developers grapple with the ethical dilemma of autonomy and risk management, researchers are beginning to investigate the social impact of these security technologies. The present research contributes to this line of inquiry. Fieldwork was carried out on two secure long-term care units for people living with dementia. Ethnographic accounts will illustrate how security technology creates socialities of securitisation on a secure dementia unit. Using securitisation theory, I will argue that dementia has been redefined, shifting it from a health issue to a security issue. The discursive construction of dementia as a security issue will be considered in terms of the co-constructed notions of vulnerability, risk, security threat and security challenge with respect to people living with dementia. The paper investigates how securitisation influences the ethics of dementia care.

Scroll to Top