The human rights of people living with dementia: from Rhetoric to Reality
Dementia Alliance International is proud to be launching its first official publication to coincide with the adoption by Alzheimer’s Disease International of a Human Right based approach, and to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week UK 2016. With input from our Human Rights Advisor Professor Peter Mittler, and other experts, we hope this guide will educate and support the activities of individuals and organisations, and will be the beginning of real change. We have had much rhetoric and agreement that we have human rights; now we want real action.
There are currently more than 47 million people with dementia globally and one new diagnosis every 3.2 seconds[i]. There are 850,000 people in the UK who have a form of dementia[ii], more than 5 million[iii] in America, and more than 353,800[iv] Australians with dementia in Australia. If dementia were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy.
Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is an advocacy group, the peak body and global voice of people with dementia. Our mission includes Human Rights based approaches that are applied to the pre and post-diagnostic experiences of people with a dementia, in every way. We advocate for a more ethical pathway of support that includes our human right to full rehabilitation and full inclusion in civil society; “nothing about us, without us.”
“We are launching this landmark Dementia Alliance International guide because, as a direct result of DAI’s advocacy and a rights-based approach including access to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has just been adopted by Alzheimer’s Disease International. This is a watershed moment for people with dementia across the world.” Kate Swaffer
The human rights of people with dementia lie at the heart of our work. Access to the UN Disability Convention was one of the demands made by DAI’s Chair, Kate Swaffer at the World Health Organisation’s First Ministerial Conference on Dementia held in Geneva in March 2015. Since then, we have done everything we can to make a reality of that demand.
“What matters to us now is that people living with dementia should be empowered to use their undisputed right of access to this and to other relevant UN Human Rights Conventions, including a future Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.” Professor Peter Mittler
You can download a copy of our publication here: Human Rights for People Living with Dementia – Rhetoric to Reality
You can view a video of Kate Swaffer and Peter Mittler introducing the need for a human rights based approach to dementia at the recent ADI Conference in Budapest here:
Membership of DAI is exclusive to people with a medically confirmed diagnosis of dementia; to join our exclusive club or to join a support group, visit us here www.joindai.org.
Kate Swaffer, Chair, CEO, Co-founder of Dementia Alliance International and author of What the hell happened to my brain?: Living beyond dementia, published on January 21, 2016.
[i] World Health Organisation, Dementia Statistics (2015) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/action-on-dementia/en/
[ii] Alzheimer’s Association, (2016). 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp
[iv] Alzheimer’s Australia (2016) Key Statistics, https://fightdementia.org.au/about-dementia/statistics