In this weeks installment in our Meet the Storyteller series we meet Irish dementia advocate Helen Rochford-Brennan. Helen will present her experiences, with her respondent Moira Jenkins, at our upcoming event ‘The Freedom to Choose: Contracts, Capacity & the Law‘ on the 18th of November. You can find out more about the event here.
My name is Helen Rochford-Brennan.
I am from Ireland.
I have experience of advocating for people living with dementia and speaking about my experiences and the need for change.
I want to share a story about making decisions about medical assessments/ tests, driving and travelling.
My 7 word autobiography is community activist for rights with a sense of humour and purpose.
I joined the VOICES project because I wanted to ensure that the voice of people living with dementia was included in such an important project. Equally, I am passionate about dementia and human rights and I really wanted to send out a message that people living with dementia, regardless of cognitive capacity, have a right to live with dignity and autonomy. We have a right to be treated as both people and rights-holders: a right to both personhood and citizenship.
What was your favourite part of the first workshop?
I found the speakers excellent and I enjoyed learning about other countries. I also liked sharing my own experiences.
What are you hoping to learn from the project?
I want to show how basic human rights like freedom of movement and travel can be denied to people with dementia based on a view that we lack capacity. I want to learn more about the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and how that convention can enhance the rights of people living with dementia.