Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — Last week I was very privileged to be invited to speak at the inaugural Let’s Talk About Sex — Relationships and Intimacy as We Age conference hosted by Alzheimer’s Australia and the Council on the Ageing — COTA. The conference is a great Victorian innovation which aims to get people talking about sex and seniors, and seniors having sex.
I congratulate Sue Hendy of COTA Victoria and Maree McCabe from Alzheimer’s Australia on their vision in getting this conference off the ground. The conference covered a wide range of speakers presenting papers on issues such as the ageing HIV-positive community, consent and dementia, couples in aged care, and the aged sector and the LGBTI community.
We are beginning to have conversations about how to plan our public spaces and services to be better equipped for our ever-ageing population and the growing number of people living with dementia. The conference raised a whole lot of new challenges and opportunities. There is existing stigma about older people in general in our community, and this is despite there being the greatest number of older people on the planet now than ever before in our history.
Organisations like Alzheimer’s Australia are not only leading the conversation about seniors and sex, but they are also using technology to equip us with the knowledge to better understand the everyday reality of living with the disease. I encourage everyone to visit the facility in Parkville where the award-winning Alzheimer’s simulator can be found.