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Dementia Care for Europeans in Thailand: A Geography of Futures

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caleb Johnston



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We explore the creation of private care facilities around Chiang Mai in northern Thailand to provide dementia care for people from the Global North. We draw on three periods of ethnographic observation at care facilities, and interviews with Swiss and British owners and family members, as well as Thai managers and care workers. We locate this offshoring of dementia care from the Global North to South within existing underfunding of dementia care in the Global North and a “regime of antic- ipation” built around expected substantial growth in the numbers of people living with dementia. These facilities are opening new futures for those who migrate for care as they leverage their relative wealth and privilege to purchase care in Thailand. In line with other readings of international health migration, we note the negative impact of this state-supported privatized industry on the availability of nurses and care aids in public hospitals in Thailand. We then venture into less examined and expected fu- turities, namely, the opportunities these facilities provide to two groups of stigmatized Thai workers: transgender and Indigenous Karen caregivers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pratt G, Johnston C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Behavioral Scientist

Year: 2022

Volume: 66

Issue: 11

Pages: 1880-1895

Online publication date: 28/02/2022

Acceptance date: 31/01/2022

Date deposited: 28/02/2022

ISSN (print): 0002-7642

ISSN (electronic): 1552-3381

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/00027642221075263


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Funder referenceFunder name
Newcastle University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada