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About the Dementia Redress Project

The Dementia Redress Project explores the need for redress of violence, abuse and neglect of people living with dementia in residential aged care in Australia.

Violence, neglect and abuse of people living with dementia is a systemic problem in residential aged care. It inflicts significant harm on victims/survivors. Violence, neglect and abuse also impacts care partners, families and friends and the broader dementia community. Those affected have been unable to access justice, or healing and closure through complaints mechanisms and the courts. 

While ending violence, neglect and abuse requires reform of legal, regulatory, and funding frameworks, these reforms do not ‘redress’ in the sense of setting right or fixing the wrongs of past violence, neglect and abuse. There are also redress practices beyond individual court action. These practices include compensation and psychosocial support schemes, memorials, national apologies, and community education. These redress practices create individual and community benefit by delivering financial, legal and community recognition of experiences through appropriate exposure and analysis of past wrongdoing. This broader approach to redress was used in Australia in response to violence, abuse and neglect in other institutional contexts, such as in the context of child welfare.

 

Founded on the perspectives and lived experiences of the dementia community, the Dementia Redress Project explores the need to redress violence, neglect and abuse of people living with dementia in residential aged care. With funding support from the Dementia Australia Research Foundation and in collaboration with Dementia Alliance International and People with Disability Australia, the project team will explore redress through interviews and focus groups with people living with dementia, care partners, families and close friends, and lawyers and advocates. 

 

The research questions we seek to answer are:

  1. Does the dementia community think redress is necessary, and why?

  2. What does the dementia community understand by the concept of ‘redress’, (i.e. what does it mean to ‘set right’ the wrongs of neglect and abuse, what should be the objectives or end results of redress)?

  3. What specific modes of redress do the dementia community want in a redress scheme, and what principles should guide such a scheme?

  4. How can the legal profession best work with the dementia community in a redress scheme?

Project findings and recommendations will be shared with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, the dementia community, government, aged care sector, dementia, disability and older persons’ advocacy organisations, and professional associations. 

 

Anticipated benefits include justice, healing and enhanced wellbeing for victim/survivors and the dementia community, and education and advancement of protections within future aged care and legal systems.

Throughout the project and beyond we will be inviting people living with dementia, families, friends and care partners, researchers, and advocates, to reflect upon the research questions and outcomes. If you would like to contribute please contact us on dementia.redress@uts.edu.au or complete the contact form below.

Contribute to the Dementia Redress Project

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