PEOPLE SUPPORT: Professor Joseph Ibrahim will give a presentation on dignity and risk at the Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia conference.
PEOPLE SUPPORT: Professor Joseph Ibrahim will give a presentation on dignity and risk at the Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia conference.

Experts tackle human rights and ageing

AGED and Disability Advocacy Australia's Human Rights and Social Justice Conference on the Gold Coast comes at a crucial time of change across the country in the sectors of aged care, disability and guardianship.

With an interactive program including Q&As, keynote presentations and panel discussions, there isn't any better time for those working in the industry to come together and connect with their peers and leaders at this unique event.

The advocacy's Australia 2017 National Conference covers a broad range of topics, such as human rights, ageism and sexual expression.

It will consider the sexual rights of older people, or the experiences and needs of older LGBTI people. According to the advocacy's Australian CEO Geoff Rowe, the conference will be a "truly national and diverse congregation", with attendees ranging from senior government representatives to consumers.

Speakers include the Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt, while former justice of the High Court of Australia Michael Kirby will host a Q&A session. Head of the Health Law and Ageing Research Unit at Monash University Professor Joseph Ibrahim will give a presentation on dignity and risk.

"My presentation is about supporting people to choose the activities they enjoy, even though it may lead to injury or even death," he said.

"I explore why we doctors, nurses and family are so cautious and want to 'wrap older people in cotton wool' to keep them safe. This means a person has the right to choose to walk alone, even if it means they fall. Or to eat solid foods, even if it means choking to death."

Prof Ibrahim says improvements in dealing with ageing have been made in recent years, especially in pain management, palliative care and reducing use of restraint.

"The issues for people with dementia remain and are perhaps even more glaring given the advances in disability services and human rights," he said.

"Overall, it seems people with dementia have been left behind, even though as a country we are investing massive amounts of money to improve care.

"The major gap appears to be a lack of engagement in the community and a view that dementia is a disease that requires a medical approach."

With the theme Shifting Client Control, the conference will take place on March 23&24 at Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise.

The advocacy is offering a limited number of subsidised places for $250 per person to people with a disability, older people and carers.

Find out more at: www.adaaustralia.com.au.


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