Coming to IDC2024 - meet three of our amazing speakers

20 March, 2024 3 min read


We’re so excited to be able to reveal some of the incredible people who’ll be sharing their wisdom and insight from the main stage this September at the International Dementia Conference.

On stage at IDC2024 will be speakers Dr Nathalie Huitema and Dr Nathan Davies, while ABC journalist Leigh Sales will keep proceedings running smoothly as our MC.

Experts in some of the most pressing topics in the world of complex dementia care will be among our plenary speakers, as well as lending their voices to our unmissable panels. They will be joined by the people who know thanks to hard won experience - those living with dementia or caring for them. See who's already onboard here.

You'll catch all their details in coming weeks here on the IDC blog - but for now, find out more about these three names...

Dr Nathalie Huitema (US/NL)

Raising one of the most fraught topics in aged care will be sexologist and psychologist Dr Nathalie Huitema. 

Based in the US, Nathalie holds a PhD in human sexuality, is a trained psychologist with a focus on older adults, and has pioneered diverse sexuality training programs for long-term care. Dr Huitema brings over 15 years of practical expertise to her field, acquired through her work in long-term care in the Netherlands.

She will be discussing the hidden expiration date on sexual consent for older adults with cognitive impairment/dementia. 

When it comes to older adults with dementia, we prioritise harm prevention to such an extent that it denies them any form of sexual or intimate expression. This approach not only strips away their autonomy but fails to recognise the profound need for connection and intimacy as integral to human dignity, regardless of age or cognitive ability.

Dr Nathalie Huitema

Dr Nathan Davies (UK)

Dr Nathan Davies is Associate Professor of Ageing and Applied Health Research, and Director of the Centre for Ageing Population Studies (CAPS) at University College London, UK.

An internationally renowned expert in palliative dementia care, with a focus on ageing, dementia, clinical decision making, unmet complex needs and eHealth, he has an extensive record of high impact research in dementia care, including interventions on decision-making and inclusion.

Nathan will be speaking about some of the challenges and complexities of delivering high quality palliative care for people living with dementia, particularly in relation to complex care decisions.

We know people with dementia don’t always receive the best end-of-life care and don’t always have access to palliative care. Many professionals do not feel confident with making care decisions for someone with dementia as they approach the end of their life, and family carers often feel overwhelmed.

Dr Nathan Davies

Leigh Sales (AUS)

Leigh Sales AM is a multi award-winning author, podcaster and journalist at the ABC and anchors the much-loved Australian Story program. Before that, she presented the network's prime time current affairs program 7.30 for 12 years.

She has been the face of the ABC's major events coverage, including federal election and budget nights, and has interviewed every living Australian Prime Minister and innumerable world leaders and celebrities.

She's the author of five books, including the national bestseller Any Ordinary Day, Storytellers, and Well Hello, which is co-written with Annabel Crabb, with whom she runs a wildly popular podcast, Chat 10 Looks 3.

Leigh will bring her signature incisive and compassionate style to the role of MC for the conference.

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Don't forget Early Bird registration opens on Monday 15 April 2024.

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