This past September, the Alzheimer Society of Canada launched the first-ever Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia. The Charter will help people living with dementia, as well as their families, address issues of stigmatization, unfair treatment or discrimination and the right to access appropriate care. For more than a year, the Society worked closely with an advisory group of Canadians living with dementia to determine the Charter’s seven specific rights. That group included British Columbian resident Mario Gregorio. In a press release Gregorio says, “As a person living with dementia, it gives me confidence to know that I’m not alone and reassurance that my country, my health and social services and my family, friends and community are there to lend a hand. We, as a nation, need to play a leadership role to ensure that people with dementia are not marginalized.”
The Charter gives people living with dementia the opportunity to advocate for themselves and ensures that their care partners and care providers know and defend their rights.
The Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia includes these seven rights
To be free from discrimination of any kind.
To benefit from all of Canada’s civic and legal rights.
To participate in developing and implementing policies that affect their life.
To access support and opportunities to live as independent and engaged citizens in their community.
To be informed and supported so they can fully participate in decisions affecting their care and life, from the point of diagnosis to palliative and end-of-life care.
To expect that professionals involved in all aspects of their care are trained in dementia and human rights and are accountable to uphold these rights.
To access effective complaint and appeal procedures when their rights are not protected or respected. [ ]