Daniella Greenwood is an international consultant, keynote speaker and published author specialising in human rights policy and practice in long-term care. Her dissertation looked at human rights practice as it relates to people living in the later stages of dementia in long-term care. In her role as National Strategy and Innovation Manager for Arcare Aged Care, Australia, Daniella was responsible for developing and implementing the internationally acclaimed and award-winning relational approach and dedicated staff assignment model across the organization. Daniella has presented her work to federal Parliamentarians, and as a keynote speaker internationally, including the Alzheimer’s Disease International conference in 2015 and Dementia Action Alliance in 2019.
Human rights as a practice model in long-term care
Marie Sheahan is a personal and policy advocate in disability. She has worked at Charles Sturt University teaching in disabilities, gerontology and leisure and health over the past 20 years. She has published in the area of disability and citizenship and her disability practice is informed by human rights and citizenship principles.
Daniella Greenwood, Daniella Greenwood & Associates, Australia
Marie Sheahan, Charles Sturt University, Australia
Person-centred and relationship-centred approaches have failed to address the deeply embedded philosophical and operational influence of the medical/institutional model and paternalistic assumptions in long-term care.
Older people and people living with dementia in these institutions continue to be treated as patients rather than as adult citizens, exposing them to regular, unchallenged, and often casual breaches of their human rights. Often these day-to-day human rights violations are justified as ‘best interests’ or as ‘interventions’ to manage what are commonly referred to as the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Ageism, dementia-ism and paternalism continue to structure the lives of citizen residents living in long-term care.
The broader focus on ‘culture change’ has further obscured the urgency of our obligation to address the blatant and often state-sanctioned human rights breaches in long-term care – which in any other care context would be regarded as profoundly unjust and, in many instances, illegal. It is clear that the industry needs to articulate and commit to implementing some non-negotiables in relation to policy, operations and practice in long-term care. These are the non-negotiables that can no longer be viewed as ‘nice to haves’ or as initiatives that rely on winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of staff and practitioners. Abuse is abuse – and now is the time for recognition of these injustices and for solidarity in aligning aged care operations and practices.
This session will walk participants through each of the key resident experience touchpoints on their journey through long-term care, including before they move in, the crucial first day and month, their life in long-term care, and their end of life or moving out experiences. Each of these key touchpoints will be considered through the lens of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to the risks and possibilities for respecting, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the human rights of vulnerable citizen residents.
This highly interactive session will tease out the important non-negotiables, and participants can expect to leave with a range of solutions in relation to the practical implementation of human rights-based approaches. Resources will be provided including an outline of resident touchpoints and the introduction of a Human Rights Assessment Tool for long-term care.