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Enjoying Life with Dementia | Community Seminar

August 29, 2023 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Enjoying Life with Dementia | Community Seminar

HMRI's Healthy Minds Research Program invites you to a special community seminar presenting lived experience insights about living well with dementia.

There are almost half a million people living with dementia in Australia currently. While dementia is a progressive condition, the media mostly depicts progressed stages of the condition.
However, people with dementia and their families know that many people living with dementia can and do live active, fulfilling and engaged lives for many years, and recent research advances are showing promise of extending quality of life for longer.

Bill Yeates and Kay Hughes are joining us to share their lived experiences of not just ‘living with dementia’ but enjoying a fulfilling and rewarding life with dementia.

Bill was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease in 2019 and will talk about his experience learning how to best manage his diagnosis, living with dementia, and how it is possible to still lead a better life.
In 2022, Kay became a dementia Advocate, enabling her to contribute to dementia research, awareness and wellbeing activity nationally and locally. Last year, she took time out of her songwriting schedule to speak at the National Dementia Conference, and this year she teamed up with Bill Yeates to present live dementia awareness sessions.
"Bill’s approach to life is brilliant", Kay says, "I admire him immensely. Our unique partnership brings different perspectives, experiences and stories which deeply move participants".
Following their presentations, featuring some of Kay's music, Professor Frini Karayanidis, Co-Director for HMRI's Healthy Minds Research Program, will host a discussion panel to expore the topic further with Bill and Kay and other dementia experts.

Registration for this lived experience presentation and discussion is free, but in-person places are limited to 130 people. We hope you can join us!

When: Tuesday 29 August 2023

5.00pm - Tea and coffee and information stalls
5.30pm - 7.00pm - Seminar
7.00pm - 8.00pm - Light supper, information stalls, meet and greet

Where: Caves Theatre, Level 4 East, HMRI Building or online

Tickets: Free.
Click here to register to attend the event in-person at HMRI
Click here to register to attend the event online

About the presenters

William (Bill) Yeates  graduated from pharmacy and entered the field of education where he was a school administrator and has taught senior physics and chemistry for over 35 years.

In August 2019, at the age of 59, he was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Bill has a keen interest in learning how to best manage his diagnosis on a daily basis and has created his own website where he enjoys helping and showing others who are also living with dementia, how it is possible to still lead a better life. Besides being a volunteer surf lifesaver, Bill competes in masters swimming, pool rescue and surf lifesaving championships, at a local, state, national and international level.
Currently, Bill is a member of Dementia Australia's Advocate Program and has been Vice Chair of Dementia Alliance International for the past two years. He is also a member of the World Health Organisation GDO KE Focus Group and a member of the Global Review Panel for ADI Accreditation of dementia care. Recently, Bill has started to share his experiences at national and international conferences as a way of raising awareness about dementia, focussing mainly on post diagnostic care and support via his holistic approach to life and the development of reablement plans.

Kay Hughes married Richard in 2004. In 2010, Kay noticed cognitive changes in Richard, and he was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Richard no longer recognises Kay, and they no longer live together, but when they see each other love and laughter still flow.

Kay was a Registered Nurse, has a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School, and was a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was General Manager of the Australasian College for Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine, Research Fellow for the Centre for Disability Studies, and was a Specialist Non-Profit Consultant until 2014, when she stopped working to support Richard to enjoy life at home.
Kay has a lifelong love of music and found it highly therapeutic to express her experience with Richard and his dementia through songwriting. She co-wrote nine songs on the soon-to-be-released album, Invisible No More.

Professor Frini Karayanidis is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Newcastle and Co-Director for HMRI's Healthy Minds Research Program.

Professor Karayanidis’ works in the field of cognitive neuroscience of ageing. Her research aims to develop approaches for individuals to track their personal brain and cognitive health journey and help them make informed lifestyle decisions to optimise quality of life and wellbeing.

Professor Michael Breakspear is a computational neuroscientist and clinical psychiatrist. He is a member of HMRI's Brain Neuromodulation Research Program and HMRI's 2021 Researcher of the Year.

Growing up in Sydney, Professor Breakspear studied medicine, philosophy and mathematics and has worked in Sydney as well as Queensland before coming to Newcastle in 2019. He established the Systems Neuroscience Group) with aspirations to integrate basic methods, bioinformatics and clinical translation with a unique focus on regional Australia.
His research encompasses healthy ageing, dementia, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. His clinical interests include recovery-focused treatment of mood disorders, psychosis, and addiction

Gina Hayward is a Dementia Support Specialist with Dementia Australia.  Gina is a qualified nurse; with a background in general medical, aged care and community nursing. She also has a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) and has worked as a nurse researcher. Gina has been with Dementia Australia for 5 years and previously worked for the Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, UK as an educator. Gina’s current role involves facilitation of a range a programs for people living with dementia, their families, carers and friends. She also coordinates Dementia Australia’s Specialised Expert Video series and is passionate about supporting people to live well.

Emeritus Professor Julie Byles AO is Senior Advisor on Ageing and Aged Care with the Hunter Medical Research Institute; and also Senior Advisor with the Sax Institute. She is a Fellow and life member of the Australian Association of Gerontology, Chair of the Hunter Ageing Alliance, Head of the International Longevity Centre – Australia, co-President of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, and Chair, Social Research and Planning Sub-comittee International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Asia Oceania). She was a founding investigator and Director of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health with a particular interest in the health of the oldest women who are now turning 100, and the next cohort who are now in their 70s. Her work includes how health and social care can support people throughout later life.

Caves Theatre, Level 4 East, HMRI Building
Lot 1 Kookaburra Circuit
New Lambton Heights