End of the rainbow:
Models of care for LGBTIQ+  people with dementia

Workshop hosted by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender and Intersex Special Interest Group (LGBTI SIG),  
in partnership with LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, Dementia Support Australia and Deakin University
Tuesday 14 November 2023
9.30am to 12.30pm
Southport 1, The Star
AAG Members $75.00
Non Members $95.00

about this workshop

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) are diverse and have complex needs related to dementia.  They are recognised internationally and nationally as a priority population but there is still little research or evidence about them. After lifetimes of discrimination older LGBTIQ+ people experience health disparities and a distrust of health and social care systems. A key recommendation around improving support for older LGBTIQ+ people is improving cultural competence of aged and health care services. How might this be different for LGBTIQ+ people with dementia?

This interactive session is a call to action. It will involve a short presentation, followed by a world café session where participants will discuss and help respond to key challenges and opportunities for developing models of care for LGBTIQ+ people with dementia.

key reasons to attend

1. Learn about contemporary research and best practice on LGBTIQ+ people with dementia
2. Explore challenges and opportunities for LGBTIQ+ people with dementia.
3. Connect with others to develop ways to address challenges and support opportunities for LGBTIQ+ people with dementia.
4. Engage in discussions to inform a co-designed model of care for LGBTQIA+ people with dementia.

This workshop encourages lived experience participation, as well as from researchers and service providers in developing a model of care for LGBTIQ+ people with dementia.

After a presentation from the facilitators about their contemporary research and literature reviews in this space, the rest of the session will focus on the world café. This is modelled after a café, with round tables for rotating groups of 4-5 people to discuss and brainstorm around a set of key questions for 20 minutes each. Groups report back, with a scribe recording the discussions .


Dr. Louisa Smith
Louisa Smith (she/her), Senior Lecturer in Disability and Inclusion at Deakin University. Louisa is a qualitative social researcher in disability, dementia and complex support needs. Louisa has a particular interest in research that actively develops supports for those who are most socially isolated, including people with disabilities and/or dementia who experience gender and sexuality diversity, live in large residential accommodation or are from refugee backgrounds. Louisa’s research works across the disciplines of sociology, disability and dementia studies and policy studies, with a particular focus on inclusive and participatory methodologies. Louisa’s current program of research focusses on Participatory Action Research approaches to co-develop and co-design resources to support people with disabilities and dementia and complex support needs.

An example of such work with people with dementia is documented in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI721G6ORN8&feature=emb_title
Rob Hardy
Rob Hardy (he/him), Director Training and Capacity Building at LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA). Rob currently leads the ageing and aged care program at LHA which includes the Silver Rainbow program, a national training and capacity building program for the aged sector to deliver LGBTI inclusive services. He started his career as an occupational therapist and for the last 15 years has been managing health promotion teams and programs around reproductive and sexual health, aged care, palliative care and disability.
Lee Rushton
Lee (she/her) is completing a PhD at the University of Wollongong in the School of Health and Society. Her research interest is exploring opportunities for people living with dementia to experience agency and citizenship in place-based settings such as gardens via participatory action research and digital storytelling. Before embarking on her PhD, Lee held senior business and marketing management roles in the public and private sectors. She was also the founder and owner of a market research business specialising in strategic business development and customer service improvement.
Assoc Prof Lyn Phillipson
Lyn Phillipson (she/her) is public health academic who engages in research and action to promote aged and dementia friendly communities. She uses qualitative and participatory methods to work with people to promote understanding and change in the social, physical and service environments that contribute to their wellbeing. She has particular expertise in the development and practice of inclusive methods with people with dementia and their care partners, as well as members of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Gwenda Darling
Gwenda (she/her) is a proud pansexual Palawa Aboriginal woman, mother, grandmother and great grandmother who lives in rural NSW on the Victorian border. Gwenda received a dementia diagnosis in March 2013 and continues to live a full life with dementia, advocating for community members to age well in their own homes. Gwenda is a strong and vocal formal and informal advocate for dementia awareness. She is a member of: the Aged Care Council of Elders who have a formal voice to Government on ageing and aged care; the Older Person’s Advocacy Network’s (OPAN) National Older Persons Reference Group;  Australian Dementia Network Registry (AdNET) steering committee. Gwenda is also a Dementia Australia Advocate, working with others to raise awarenesss and provide feedback to policy, programs and service development. In these formal advocacy roles, Gwenda has raised awareness around older people living in rural areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with dementia, and gender and/or sexuality diverse older people.
Mary-Clare Maloney
Mary-Clare (she/her) has worked with Dementia Support Australia in senior clinical and manager roles for over seven years. Mary-Clare has over 35 years of experience as a Clinical Occupational Therapist and has worked as an Educator in aged care. She has previously held positions in acute hospitals, rehabilitation settings, residential aged care, community, and health promotion. Mary-Clare has worked with various client groups; however, her interest is in neurology and gerontology, specifically dementia. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), a Bachelor of Health Science in Complimentary Medicine (Body Therapies), and a Master in Health Science (Gerontology).