Fall Conference at Widener to Focus on Sexuality and Aging in Long-Term Care and Among LGBT Populations

Leaders in the fields of aging, long-term care and lesbian, gay, transgender issues will share their wisdom at the Sexuality, Intimacy and Aging Conference Sept. 27-28 at Widener University, Chester, Pa.

This is the third annual conference presented by the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University, the only national organization committed to the sexual health, education and rights of adults in mid and later life.

"We are thrilled with this year's line-up of speakers and trainers who promise to deliver cutting-edge information that professionals can use to enhance their work," said Melanie Davis, co-president of the Consortium.

The conference theme, "Helping to Navigate Challenges in Sexuality and Aging," captures the need for professional development to prepare people to work with aging populations. Continuing education credits will be available for social work and psychology in addition to the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

To register for one or both days, visit http://saconsortium.eventbrite.com. Students, Widener faculty and groups representing agencies qualify for discounts.

For promo codes, e-mail SAConsortium@widener.edu. Call 610-499-1378 for more information.

Conference Highlights

The opening day of the conference on Friday, Sept. 27, will focus on sexuality in long-term care settings. Morning plenary speakers will address love and sex in the war on ageism and the challenges of sexuality and dementia.

Friday afternoon workshops will address a range of topics, including creating sex-positive long-term care facilities, offering grief support for LGBT residents/loved ones, implementing policies and education, communicating with residents with dementia, combating compassion fatigue and uncovering sexual abuse and molestation in long-term care.

A poster session will highlight graduate student research in sexuality and aging, and an evening networking session will foster professional relationships in a relaxing setting.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, the conference focus will narrow to examine issues specific to older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults. Mark Segal, known as the dean of American gay journalism, will deliver the keynote address, "The Invisible People: LGBT Seniors." Other speakers will present research on the impact of sexual identity and HIV-status and tips for building national LGBT aging programs. Ed Miller, senior programs coordinator at the Philadelphia-based William Way LGBT Community Center, will facilitate a panel discussion about the LGBTQ older adult population.

The day will include a special screening of the award-winning documentary Gen Silent followed by a discussion with Stu Maddux, producer/director. The film examines gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender older people who go back into the closet because they are afraid of discrimination by caregivers or bullying by other seniors.

"This training day brings together the nation's leaders in this highly specific area. This is a can't-miss opportunity for professional development," said Robin Goldberg-Glen, PhD, MSW, co-president of the Consortium.

In addition to the Consortium, conference co-sponsors are the Widener University Center for Social Work Education, the Center for Human Sexuality Studies and the Center for Clinical Psychology.

About the Sexuality and Aging Consortium

The Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University is a not-for-profit educational outreach initiative of the university's Center for Human Sexuality Studies. The Consortium is comprised of approximately 20 members from throughout the country who provide education, consulting and counseling to individuals, couples and caregivers. Consulting and in-service training are delivered to caregivers and professionals who work with older adults. For more information, call 610-499-1378; e-mail SAConsortium@widener.edu; or visit www.widener.edu/sexualityandaging.

About Widener University

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, experiential learning and leadership are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,700 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.