Robinson urges end to 'stigma of dementia'
The discrimination and stigma faced by Ireland's 48,000 dementia sufferers is a "hidden injustice," former President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has said.
Robinson was launching the first Charter of Rights for people with dementia by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.
The charter sets out the needs for accountability at public and private level for the care of people with dementia as well as their right to maintain maximum independence and access to civil and legal supports.
Mrs 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 which needs to be heard."
Helen Rochford-Brennan from Tubbercury in Sligo who developed Alzheimer's in her fifties said: "Dementia has long been shrouded by stigma and there is still a very low level of awareness of the full demographic of those with the condition.
"There are people with young families living with it, there are children caring for parents with the condition and there are older people in long term care who are not receiving the supports they need.
"We are fighting for the rights of every single one of these people and their families who are everyday fighting to stay in their homes, access services and be treated with the dignity they deserve.
"Some days, I like to stay busy and focused and there are days when I can just about manage to push my condition and my unravelling behind a locked door in my mind. But on days like today I have to remember it, have to face it and have to speak out about this condition for myself and my family."