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A place for mortality: In-patient hospice architecture and its role in a dignified death

Bellamy, Annie

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Authors

Annie Bellamy



Abstract

This paper explores the role of design and architecture within palliative care environments to influence a positive experience of dying. As more demands are placed on in-patient hospices, many providers look to rejuvenate their facilities. Can multi-sensory, tactile approaches form rich comforting environments for those at the end of their life? Formed of three qualitative case studies that unpick the subjective nature of the topic; local, regional and national scales develop narratives exploring the successes and failures to promote personal dignity. Beginning with an auto-ethnographic account of the authors time in a local hospice where the author's Mother passed away; to primary data gathered through interviews with users from a regional hospice before a concluding analysis of a new build hospice. The notion of 'home' is subjective reality experienced differently by all-however dignity within the but environment relies on a spatial hierarchy revolving around the needs of the dying person. This study highlights architectural strategies, from urban design to bespoke furniture, that mediate the details of domestic and hospital architecture by encouraging interactions of the dying person beyond the boundaries of their bedroom. Both socially and sensorially to promote a good life right to the very end-maintaining a connection between the dying person and the external world. The study draws attention to how rationalising medical environment and infrastructure offers a greater sense of trust to the dying person at the end of their life; markedly more personable than the environments of an acute hospital.

Citation

Bellamy, A. (2017, August). A place for mortality: In-patient hospice architecture and its role in a dignified death. Paper presented at "STS (In)Sensibilities" 4S Society for Social Sciences Annual International Conference, Boston, United States of America

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name "STS (In)Sensibilities" 4S Society for Social Sciences Annual International Conference
Conference Location Boston, United States of America
Start Date Aug 30, 2017
End Date Sep 2, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 13, 2021
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/7249092

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