Close this search box.

Caleb Johnston

Exporting Dementia Care to the Global South

This site of ongoing research investigates the migration of people living with dementia from the UK and Europe to Thailand for care. We are documenting a new form of global outsourcing of care, and the work is probing how new care facilities reproduce and/or disrupt expected narratives of unequal and exploitative relations of care and precarity across global north and south.

This research has involved ethnographic observation at several private care facilities in the City of Chiang Mai, and over 60 interviews with family members of people living with dementia, facility owners, Thai nurses, and nursing aides.

Findings have been published in Transactions, Annals, cultural geographies, and special issue of American Behavioral Scientist.

This research is also the basis of Between Worlds, a documentary theatre play created in collaboration with my research partner Professor Geraldine Pratt (University of British Columbia) and German theatre company, Costa Compagnie. The play was performed in Berlin (Ballhaus Ost) and Newcastle (Northern Stage) in 2019.

Utilizing our research materials, in 2022, we created a 46-minute documentary film, City of Long Stay, to further public debate and awareness on the issues.

This research has also garnered international media attention, with interviews by The Guardian, The Economist, The Independent, Sunday Post, BBC World Service Newsday, BBC Scotland, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC 5 live, Daily Express, Al Jazeera, BBC 4, Daily Mail, and featured in the BBC Radio 4 documentary Sending Mum Abroad.