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[Xmca-l] Re: Memory, aging and culture
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Memory, aging and culture
- From: "valerie A. Wilkinson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 11:21:45 +0900
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Thank you, Mike.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
Of mike cole
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 3:34 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Memory, aging and culture
What you remind us of, Valerie, that the problem under discussion is
pervasively felt in our various social worlds with their various ways of
organizing human relations in the face of scarcity. It is part aging of some
populations, devestated economies of others, ecological devestgation of
others..... the kill-for hopes and fears of others.
About care at home. A friend of mine who was born in a small, poor, Vermont
town around 1915 once talked about the way that the old folks in his town
were cared for at home. When they could no longer able to care for
themselves, they were given a space in the attic or a back room where there
was no heat.... kind of like being assigned to an ice flow.
My aunt, who lived in NYC from about 1945 until her death a few years ago,
lived in one of those alienated apartment buildings.
But she lived opposite the mailboxes and over time her apartment became a
late night refuge for neighbors dragging in from long work days, or to pick
up packages the mailman could not leave at the post-box. She died among a
veritable building full of people caring for her.
I believe (Peter will know) that there is ample evidence to show that simple
conversational practices where, for example, college kids come visiting to
chat about what they are doing and in turn getting their elderly and
memory-challenged interlocutors chatting about anything at all, but about
what they did that day, what they saw on television, what they used to do
when they were young, recuperates all sorts of function.
It does not require a rocket scientist to create a zoped.
And culture has everything to do with it!
On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 4:42 PM, valerie A. Wilkinson <
> Hello, everyone!
> This thread is way too exciting to just sit on the sidelines. I am
> invested in this because I did time with my aging grandmother, and
> abused her in my ignorance of how to deal with the frustration of
> "dementia" without a social network to support. Only my father
> "laying down the law" so to speak, got "the family" to put my
> grandmother in a retirement home. Which was horrible. All she had
> was one picture of the dog in a frame. Three dresses.
> Hospital gown. (Sigh.)
> Shift to Japan and teaching a GST discussion seminar. I'm toying with
> a phrase, "Where Humanity meets Science and Technology". Also, I have
> a unique opportunity to give two lectures to Engineering students
> about CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) which leads almost directly to
> And not the ethics of THE BOTTOM LINE. There has been work done with
> this, such as 3BL (3 Bottom Lines) Financial Capital, Social Capital,
> and Natural Capital.
> For example, UK and "austerity programs". My friend had to intervene
> to get a parent out of a home because they would not re-evaluate
> certain tests, reports of deliberately starving and putting water out
> of reach. He is a priest and a very conservative person and is not
> making this up. He has real friends who experience the impact of
> these policies for themselves and their parents. I am in Japan. I had
> to make a choice between an "insurance backed" rehabilitation hospital
> and rehabilitation with my "dysfunctional"
> family. Family wins hands down, because I know, I have been here for
> 33 years and had two babies, I know what the nursing staff and
> rehabilitation staff will do and what they won't.
> Not wanting to toss myself in a self-devised oubliette, I want to talk
> about this for real. I am nearly 60, my mother is still alive, and
> this is all very real to me in lived-life personal ways. I know
> something of the experiences of students whom I teach, who are
> entering adulthood with the voices and classes of a team of teacher
> and staff who are tasked with helping them enter adulthood, and take
> on the full responsibility of a member of society. 20 seems really
> I have a feeling that my dashed out note may not survive coherence
> tests, but the key is quality of life, and richness is cultural, and
> human richness abides in a loved familiar environment. This connects
> to the old and the very young. Some studies have linked SIDS to being
> a very lonely baby. Of course I "cherry-pick" my stuff according to my
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of peter jones
> Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 5:47 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Memory, aging and culture
> Hi Mike, All
> I can't identify a literature but am sure there is one (culturally
> orientated) out there such is the prospective scale of the challenges.
> Emerging you would hope?
> In Feb 2011 I gave a presentation and workshop in Paipa, Colombia. I
> used a case study of an elderly lady living alone.
> Very common here in the UK and yet the audience in Colombia could not
> really identify with this scenario.
> The family would assure the well-being of their family member, except
> in extremis. In this sense the culture in Colombia could be said to be
> in comparison with the loneliness and alienation frequently
> experienced in the UK.
> Mental health services in the UK have lost 1700 beds in the past two
> years (Health Service Journal) due to austerity measures. This might
> mean family have a 30 mile or more trip to visit a relative in hospital.
> There are studies that espouse a role for telecare to facilitate
> people maintaining their independence with other sources of support.
> You might refer to the health policy debate and eventual emergence of
> a 'dementia strategy' or other governmental response as measure of some
> In terms of the sciences and political (mechanistic) domains of Hodges'
> model, governments (e.g. UK) needs to know how prevalent the problem is.
> Therefore the emphasis is still upon diagnosis, or more accurately
> I have advocated for more local use of geographic information systems
> - GIS to consider such activities. For example, which family doctors
> are referring people, which are not and if so why not?
> There is a fascinating question(?) in what a culture considers
> 'challenging behaviour'? With this is 'tolerance' of individuals,
> through to family and communities. When medical language is introduced
> then 'sense making' is radically altered (of course)?
> The cultural impacts are yet to be fully realised and if there is a
> connection with diabetes may be even greater than thought (without
> The cultural expectations around driving could also be very
> interesting, having the grace to give up the car when the time comes.
> This will (is) not easy for a great many people.
> Hope this helps.
> Peter Jones
> Lancashire, UK
> Blogging at "Welcome to the QUAD"
> Hodges Health Career - Care Domains - Model
> h2cm: help 2C more - help 2 listen - help 2 care
> On Monday, 9 December 2013, 0:47, mike cole <email@example.com> wrote:
> The link between involvement in cultural practices as a function of
> age/health and memory seems to have opened up a lot of considerations
> of common interest. As Geraldine suggests word meaning is a central
> phenomenon associated with memory loss and Peter reveals himself as
> deeply involved in the issues that Laure's question provoked.
> look at the
> geographic/temporal distribution of this concentrated "intelligence."
> Peter, is there a literature on cultural differences in partterns of
> say, dementia, or Alzheimers, when societies adopt our most civilized
> Clearly you are pointing toward a shift in the kinds of issues
> changing demographics will pose socially and economically, which I
> think requires a corresponding shift in cultural practices and their
> Am I tracking this right?
> (Asked the old man, speaking of dimentia)
> On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 3:53 PM, peter jones <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Culturally one of the factors must be what is 'home'?
> >Another extends beyond cultural perception to involve politics and
> With an ageing population we (health services - private as well as
> public) need older adults to retain their independence and if needed
> to be cared for at home and to die at home and not in hospital.
> >The following may help in specifics around dementia.
> >Culturally are we ready for more people to die at home?.
> >I also blogged this w/e about residential care and deprivation of
> >There are other posts on dementia & memory which may illuminate
> >Peter Jones
> >Lancashire, UK
> >Blogging at "Welcome to the QUAD"
> >Hodges Health Career - Care Domains - Model
> >h2cm: help 2C more - help 2 listen - help 2 care
> >On Sunday, 8 December 2013, 21:49, Martin John Packer
> <email@example.com> wrote:
> >I suspect that 'memory loss' with age also depends on cultural
> of memory. I know couples where one person is largely responsible for
> remembering things for both. In the US, the UK and elsewhere we tend
> to put old people in institutions where no one knows their history,
> whereas in cultures where old'uns continue to have a place in the
> family, their relatives know what they need to recall and can do so
> for them, or help them do so.
> >On Dec 8, 2013, at 12:43 PM, Laure Kloetzer
> >> Hi Mike,
> >> I agree the question was quick and fuzzy,
> > sorry. I wonder to what extent
> >> the extended complaint on memory loss (especially loss of episodic
> >> memories, related to specific events of one's life) by people who
> >> are getting old in our current societies is related to cultural
> >> factors (including social expectations towards a precise memory,
> >> esp. relating
> >> one's own life events, and anxiety to get old, including fear of
> >> pathology, for example). We know that the way we sleep, our
> >> sleeping cycles, are influenced by our culture. I guess our
> >> perception of our
> >> performance and accuracy is also influenced by cultural factors,
> >> and I wonder if some colleagues have been working on these topics.
> >> Which
> >> dimensions worsen or improve the situation regarding memory
> >> problems and aging ?
> >> Thanks for your help !
> >> Best regards,
> >> LK
> >> 2013/12/8 mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >>> What does the term, cultural perceptions mean, Laure? The answer
> >>> to
> >>> question would help a lot in answering your questions.
> >>> mikec
> >>> On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 12:44 AM, Laure Kloetzer
> >>>> Hi,
> >>>> I am looking for references on aging, and how memory loss is
> >>>> affected
> >>>> cultural perceptions. Would you have some references to point me to ?
> >>>> Best,
> >>>> LK