Helen & Moira

Travel and dementia: one story, many rights

In this chapter, Helen Rochford Brennan tells her story of maintaining her identity and independent life in her community after being diagnosed with early onset dementia. Helen has advocated for recognition of the human rights of people living with dementia in the Republic of Ireland, throughout the European Union and internationally. She has shared her story to bring dementia-related issues into greater focus in disability scholarship, law and policy and to change societal attitudes. Personal mobility is fundamental to Helen realising her right to be active in her community, her right to work with support, her right to be heard, her right to live at home and her right to be respected and recognized as an equal human being.  Illustrated by sample pages from her diary, Helen’s experiences of travel spotlight issues of contractual capacity and agency for people living with dementia.  In response Moira Jenkins considers what support people with a dementia disability require to realise their equal right to contract, travel and participate. Moira questions how contract law could be reimagined and configured to create legal relationships of shared values as well as economic interests.

You can watch a video of Helen and Moira presenting here. Their presentation starts at 45:21.

About the Authors

hrbMy name is Helen Rochford-Brennan.

I am from Ireland.

My 7 word autobiography is community activist for rights with a sense of humour and purpose.

I have experience of advocating for people living with dementia and speaking about my experiences and the need for change.


My name is Moira Jenkins.

I am from Ireland but I have lived in Melbourne, Australia and Brixton, England.

My 7 word autobiography is human being, adventurer, lawyer, student, mother, citizen and teacher.

I have experience of being a mum, a barrister, a performer, an arts administrator, a law lecturer, a gardener, a protestor, a singer, a cook, an independent advocate and a lover.