Human Rights and Dementia

People with dementia have the same human rights as every other citizen.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is committed to promoting these rights.

The Charter of Rights

In April 2016, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Irish Dementia Working Group published a charter highlighting the rights of people with dementia. A Charter of Rights for People with Dementia calls for greater participation, accountability, equality, empowerment, and legal recognition for the rights of people with dementia.

L-R: Helen Rochford-Brennan, Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group, Colette Kelleher, ASI CEO, former President Mary Robinson, and John Clifford, Chairman of the ASI Board, at the launch of A Charter of Rights for People with Dementia on 7th April 2016.

Launching the charter, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson said, “I hope that the launch of this charter will enable us all to see people with dementia in a new light, with the same human rights as all of us and with a voice that needs to be heard. It was a significant step to see the importance of using a human rights lens because that would empower those with dementia to be as involved as possible in addressing the challenges. That is what has happened and that is what this Charter is all about.”

You can download a copy of the charter here and watch the video that features members of the Irish Dementia Working Group.

Our Lives, Our Rights Video

In October 2018 Helen Rochford Brennan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).

Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia, member and former Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group and member of the Board of Alzheimer Europe, Helen is on the Monitoring Committee of Ireland’s National Dementia Strategy and is a Global Dementia Ambassador.

Throughout her life she has been a rights and social justice campaigner and today she advocates for the rights of people with dementia.  Helen was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 62.

Watch the NUIG video here

UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) provides the framework to promote, protect and ensure the rights of all people with disabilities and promotes equal rights in all areas of life.

The UN CRPD was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006. Ireland signed the UNCPRD in March 2007 and the Irish Government finally ratified the UN CRPD in March 2018.

Find all you need to know about the UN CRPD on the Disability Federation of Ireland website here:

https://www.disability-federation.ie/news/latest/2017/03/11/what-is-the-un-crpd/

'Rights Made Real' training course

Following a successful application to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, The Irish Dementia Working Group commissioned Prof Suzanne Cahill to collaborate with the group to develop training for people living with dementia to learn more about their human rights. This was delivered and adapted by an external facilitator, known as the “Rights Made Real” training course.

Read our Evaluation Report of the Rights Made Real training course for people living with dementia HERE.

Adult Safeguarding and People with Dementia in Nursing Homes

This report on safeguarding the human rights of people with dementia who live in residential care was commissioned by the Irish Dementia Working Group. It provides insights and recommendations into ways to uphold the rights of people with dementia as their care needs progress and they move to long term care. This was published in December 2022.

Author: Dr Sarah Donnelly, Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, UCD

Read the paper HERE.

Human Rights Report

Read the ASI’s report on Human Rights and Older People from 2013.

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