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People living with dementia need to be treated with dignity

People living with dementia need to be treated with dignity, respect and understanding

Alzheimers NZ has welcomed the Human Rights Commission report into the provision of aged residential care without consent, saying it highlights many of the very concerning issues impacting New Zealanders living with dementia.

The Commission’s report entitled This Is Not My Home discusses many of the challenges confronting people living in residential care.

In doing so, it makes an important contribution to the debate about the human rights of people living with dementia, says Alzheimers NZ chief executive, Catherine Hall.

“What we particularly like about the report is that, in additional to recognising the legislative issues, it also emphasises the fact that older people are still very much people, irrespective of their mental or physical health or capacity, and they need to be treated with dignity, respect and understanding.

“Sadly, people with dementia are often seen as being ‘less than’ or somehow ‘different’ and therefore they are treated differently.

“Their human rights and therefore their ability to live their best life possible and make choices and decisions are overlooked and can sometimes ignored.

“I would very much like to see a New Zealand in which older people, especially those with dementia, are treated with respect and where they receive the care and support they need to live with dignity.

“Why should that right be denied to anyone?”

Ms Hall says an important step in providing the right environment for people living with dementia is for the government to fully and urgently implement the NZ Framework for Dementia Care.

“Implementing the Framework would help to ensure a better quality of life for people affected by dementia and their care partners.

“It would mean our society still values them and sees them as Kiwis still deserving of our understanding and support.”

ends

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