It seems my focus on our basic human rights, and disAbility rights, is keeping me focussed on the UN CRPD this week, and I suspect this is where I needed to be about six years ago when I first started speaking out as an advocate… better late than never! 🙂 Seeing the person, not the dementia or disAbility, is a key focus of Dementia Alliance International, and has been our mantra since we set up the organisation on January 1, 2014.
On re-reading a number of the Articles, I would really like to see Article 30 – Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport applied to the rights of people with dementia, also living with disAbilities, in the residential aged care setting, and specifically in the ‘secure’ dementia units. I have never seen anyone living in secure units (also acting as jails, in my opinion) enjoying access to the SAME or EQUAL participation and access to a cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. These people very often don’t even get any physiotherapy, let alone real exercise, so no wonder mobility, falls and general well being becomes such an issue for so many living in what is currently referred to as ‘care’. In reality, optimum care is a long way from the reality of what is happening to these vulnerable people who are ‘living’ in most residential ‘care’ settings…
1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to take part on an equal basis with others in cultural life, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities:
a) Enjoy access to cultural materials in accessible formats;
b) Enjoy access to television programmes, films, theatre and other cultural activities, in accessible formats;
c) Enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services, and, as far as possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance.
2. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential, not only for their own benefit, but also for the enrichment of society.
3. States Parties shall take all appropriate steps, in accordance with international law, to ensure that laws protecting intellectual property rights do not constitute an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier to access by persons with disabilities to cultural materials.
4. Persons with disabilities shall be entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and deaf culture.
5. With a view to enabling persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities, States Parties shall take appropriate measures:
a) To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent possible, of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all levels;
b) To ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to organize, develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources;
c) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to sporting, recreational and tourism venues;
d) To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system;
(e) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organization of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities.
Note: I am very aware many of the residential and community care providers are working really hard to improve the care of their clients, and acknowledge not all are doing it poorly, but optimum is still an exception, and not the norm as far as I have seen.
Ps. Don’t forget to have a look at my recipe blog, especially for some recipes for celebrating your Christmas season with… the Proscuitto and cranberry cups are a MUST HAVE MORE THAN ONE on Christmas day!!