Case study: Human rights

Seniors Rights 2

Gina and Ted

Facts

Gina and Ted are married. Ted has Alzheimer’s disease and lives in a Commonwealth funded residential facility. Ted has a daughter from a previous marriage, Michelle. Michelle is Ted’s guardian. Michelle instructed the facility that Gina was not to take Ted out on outings. Michelle also attempted to limit Gina’s contact with her husband at the facility.

Action

Seniors Rights Victoria assisted Gina negotiate with Michelle and the facility. The Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities was raised with the management of the facility. However, the facility maintained that it needed to act in accordance with the direction of the guardian. Michelle’s powers, however, did not extend to access to the person. An application was made to VCAT and VCAT refused to extend the scope of the guardian’s powers to include access to the person.

The following Charter arguments were raised: Freedom of movement; Right to privacy and reputation; Freedom of association; Right to liberty and security.

Outcome

Gina and Ted now see each other regularly.