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Fall Conference at Widener Focuses on Issues Related to Sexuality, Intimacy and Aging

Dr. Dan Gottlieb

Dr. Dan Gottlieb, host of WHYY's "Voices in the Family," will serve as a keynote speaker at the conference.

The Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University hosts the 4th Annual Sexuality, Intimacy and Aging Conference Sept. 19-20 on Widener’s Main Campus in Chester, Pa. The Consortium is the only national organization committed to the sexual health, education and rights of adults in mid and later life. The Consortium’s annual conference provides an opportunity for renowned researchers, trainers, advocates and authors to share their wisdom with professionals, consumers, paraprofessionals and students.

“This conference is one of the few to offer multidisciplinary programming that enables participants to view sexuality and aging holistically. Historically, discussions in this area were limited to sexual dysfunction, but that is only a small facet of older adult sexuality,” said Dr. Robin Goldberg-Glen, Consortium co-president and conference co-chair.

Continuing education credits will be available for social work and psychology in addition to the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

“This is the first year the conference is open to consumers. They can attend any event and workshop, but we also offer workshops specifically geared to their needs, such as grandparents as sexuality educators; ways to sustain long-term relationships; and one that helps African Americans enjoy their sexuality despite sex-negative religious messages,” said Dr. Melanie Davis, Consortium co-president and conference co-chair and principal of Honest Exchange, a sexuality education consulting practice.

Agencies and community organizations are welcome to bring groups to the conference at the senior discount rate.

To register for one or both days, click here or e-mail SAConsortium@widener.edu. Students, seniors, Widener faculty and groups representing agencies qualify for discounts. E-mail the Consortium for promo codes or call 610-499-1378 for more information.

Conference Highlights

The opening day of the conference on Friday, Sept. 19, will begin with a welcome address by Denise V. Stewart, director for the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging, followed by a keynote address by Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, host of “Voices in the Family,” a mental health call-in radio show on WHYY.

Friday afternoon workshops will address a range of topics, including preserving sexual rights in long-term care and communication skills that engage a 60+ population. Evening events include a networking session, additional featured speakers and a showing of the PBS documentary “Age of Champions,” which follows athletes competing in the International Senior Games.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, the conference will begin with a plenary session hosted by Dr. Milton Diamond, an internationally renowned researcher and sexologist, who will discuss aging and intersexuality.

Participants can choose from a wide variety of workshops throughout Saturday from why long-term care facilities need sexuality policies to how to enhance sexual health and pleasure in cancer survivorship. The day will conclude with a plenary session hosted by Davis and Goldberg-Glen, during which they will encourage participants to share take-aways from the conference, discuss ways to use their knowledge and skills and set goals for advancing the cause of healthy sexuality and aging.

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

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 members from throughout the country who provide education, consulting and counseling to individuals, couples and caregivers. Membership is also open to organizations serving older adults and to individuals who are interested in supporting the Consortium’s mission. 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 metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning 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 more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website, www.widener.edu.