IDC 2022: Voices and experiences of people impacted by dementia

William Yeates will be speaking at IDC 2022. He was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 59.

A strong theme of hearing from people living with dementia about their lived experience runs through next month’s International Dementia Conference: Brave New World – Sydney, September 8 & 9.

Alongside the biennial Sydney conference’s strongest line-up yet of expert professionals, organisers of the two-day conference are determined to ensure that the expert voices and experiences of people living with dementia, their families and carers are central to the conversation.

“IDC2022 is fundamentally about voices for change, taking us into the Brave New World beyond the Aged Care Royal Commission, regulation and expectations to focus on people living with dementia,” said Angela Raguz, General Manager of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre and speaker at IDC 2022.

“The program will unfold the enormous range of experiences, many positive, and some challenges that people living with dementia can bring to our understanding of dementia,” Ms Raguz said.

IDC2022’s first plenary session “The world transformed by my diagnosis” features a guest speaker in conversation with Professor Susan Kurrle, Curran Chair in Health of Older People at Sydney University.

The speaker reflects on the challenges a dementia diagnosis brought to him and his family and what changes society needs to consider to shape a better future for them and those who follow.

Retired psychologist Bobby Redman joins the “Brave new world in the age of AI technology” panel for the Day 2 plenary to discuss the role of assisted technologies in supporting people with dementia. Bobby talks of her experience transforming her home, through sensors and other AI, to support her independence.

Bobby became an advocate for improving the lives of people living with dementia after her diagnosis of dementia in 2015.

William Yeates was a teacher, a surf lifesaver and a surfer when he was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 59.

William tells the “Bravery to seek change through our voices” session on Day 1 about how he resurfaced from the darkness of his diagnosis to return to surf lifesaving and competitive swimming.

In the same session, Janet Mitchell of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing makes the case for higher standards of relationship-based care in aged care. During her PhD studies, Janet cared for her husband living with dementia.

Megan Donnell, founder and chief executive of Childhood Dementia Initiative, joins the Day 2 panel on improving the lives of children living with dementia and their families.

Megan is the mother of two youngsters with childhood dementia caused by Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

Musician and Sydney University doctoral student Erin McKellar will tell a Day 1 session about the development of A Box of Memories the musical she created with her father, Duncan McKellar, an old age psychiatrist and HammondCare clinical specialist. Duncan was instrumental in the South Australian experience post-Oakden which saw the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety emerge.

Erin’s grandmother, Duncan’s mother, had dementia and the musical is based on Duncan’s stories from working with people living with dementia, particularly the experiences post-Oakden.

IDC2022 will be held on 8 & 9 September at the Sydney Hilton.


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