CCEL Dementia + Decision Making Project
January 31, 2024
BY Kelly Melnyk
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness month and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law is commemorating the month with the much anticipated release of the Dementia + Decision-Making Project. Building on our previous work, which revealed that there is a need to better engage people living with dementia in decisions relating to their care and well being, the CCEL Dementia + Decision-Making Project seeks to ensure that healthcare decision-making is approached so that the rights of people living with dementia are respected and supported. Participation of people living with dementia in decisions that affect their health and wellbeing is key to ensuring dignity and supporting autonomy and the tools we developed are aimed at providing practical and legal knowledge to foster this participation.
Over the course of this project, we partnered with and learned from people living with dementia, including those with other disabilities, family caregivers and care partners and health care professionals. This included focus groups, advisory committees, consultations, and a highly attended Dementia Rights Gathering to engaging with people living with dementia, or those who live with, support, or work with people living with dementia. Throughout these conversations, we learned about barriers faced by people living with dementia but, more importantly, strategies that helped in empowering them to participate in care decisions.Our tools – practical guides, information brochures, videos and decision-making pathways – provide practical information and information about how the law works. While the resources are all interconnected, and we encourage you to review them all, you may also wish to focus on a particular issue or tool. We hope that these tools will help people living with dementia, family or friend caregivers and care partners, and health care professionals in empowering people living with dementia to participate in care decisions. You can access the CCEL Dementia + Decision-Making Project here