, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 291-300,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Dwelling, house and home: towards a home-led perspective on dementia care

Abstract

“Home” is well known from everyday experience, plays a crucial role in all kinds of narratives about human life, but is hardly ever systematically dealt with in the philosophy of medicine and health care. The notion of home is ambiguous, is often used in a metaphorical way, and is closely related to concepts such as house and dwelling. In this paper the phenomenon of home is explored by means of some phenomenological writings of Heidegger, Bollnow, Bachelard and Levinas. Common in their views is that being at home and dwelling mean something more fundamental than an activity we do along with other activities, such as working and travelling. Dwelling, building a house and being at home are fundamental aspects of human existence. Being human is dwelling. While exploring the relevance of this phenomenological perspective for medical theory and practice, the focus is on the care of people suffering from dementia.