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Salford Institute for Dementia hosts International Human Rights and Dementia Conference

Wednesday 21 October 2015

The event, the second major conference organized by the Institute, focused its attention to some of the key issues in human rights for people with dementia and to those who support and care for them.  This was particularly important in World Dementia Month.

The conference dealt with issues such as equity of access and mobility in housing and care homes and improving inclusivity for minorities. Speakers illustrated the problems faced by those developing dementia both in prison and in work. Given the interest that is developing in this area a very interesting paper was given about the ethics of electronic digital control measures.

The conference delegates had a wide range of background, skills and expertise and included people with dementia, professional and volunteer carers, lawyers, specialists in the built environment, artists, researchers and academics who came together to discuss ways forward in the improvement of the life experience of those with dementia. Some of the sessions brought a strong European perspective as we begin to develop and share best practice across boundaries with speakers from the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and of course the United Kingdom.  

Keynote speakers included Mike Howorth, who has dementia, John Zeisel of the USA, an architect with a strong social message for improving the lives of people with dementia, Lord Patel of Bradford who has led Government work on Mental Capacity, and Fabrice Gzil, an expert on the ethics of personhood and dementia. Illustrating the two-city approach that is necessary in working towards solutions, Professors John Keady and Alistair Burns, both of Manchester University and Nicolas Kang-Riou from the University of Salford, made important contributions as chairs of lively ‘question time’ sessions working with Ann Johnson and Joy Watson, both of whom have dementia. 

Other sessions celebrated the links of which the City of Salford has as a ‘twin’ of Clermont Ferrand, France, with Marie Elisabeth Baudoin of the University of Clermont Auvergne speaking about International Human Rights law and Social Worker Catherine Robin and Nurse Lecturer Diewertje Bordat speaking about normalising life for people with dementia and educating health professionals about key issues.

Building on the success of this conference we plan a conference on digital innovation.

Download the Conference presentations (zip file - 16.6MB)