Actions to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, and Intersex elders

Australian Department of Health, February 2019

We know that LGBTI older people and elders are likely to have experienced violence, stigma and discrimination throughout their lives. As a result, they may be reluctant to disclose their identities or histories to aged care services and therefore remain isolated or invisible within both the aged care sector and the broader community. Combined with general stigmatisation and invisibility of LGBTI needs at large, this results in a lack of awareness of the unique needs of LGBTI elders and older people, including a lack of targeted services to support them. In addition, the fear of mistreatment or rejection from aged care providers can lead to LGBTI elders and older people delaying seeking care until their health deteriorates or a crisis occurs.

Many LGBTI elders and older people have lived through a time where identities were pathologised or criminalised, aversion therapies were encouraged, and non-consensual surgeries were routinely performed. As a result, many LGBTI older people have learned to conceal their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status in order to be safe, particularly when interacting with the health or social services sector. The fear and mistrust of these services in the past have led LGBTI elders and older people to be reluctant to utilise mainstream services, including aged care. Reliving past discrimination when encountering new forms of discrimination in the aged care
environment can lead to feelings of anxiety and/or depression.

The Action Plan is a resource that will assist aged care service providers to better understand how they can advocate for and support LGBTI elders and older people. By providing culturally safe and inclusive services, providers will build confidence amongst LGBTI elders and older people and their carers, families of choice (who may or may not include biological family) and allies that aged care services are available for them and they will be given the support and care they need as they age.

The Consumer Guide captures the voice of LGBTI peoples expressed through those consultations. It is intended both to help LGBTI peoples express their needs when speaking with aged care providers and as a resource to support people working in aged care to understand the perspectives of LGBTI peoples.

It’s hard to think about, but frail older women in nursing homes get sexually abused too

The Conversation, November 22, 2018 6.02am AEDT

We don’t often think of older women being victims of sexual assault, but such assaults occur in many settings and circumstances, including in nursing homes. Our research, published this week in the journal Legal Medicine, analysed 28 forensic medical examinations of female nursing home residents who had allegedly been victims of sexual assault in Victoria over a 15-year period.

The majority of the alleged victims had some form of cognitive or physical impairment. All 14 perpetrators who were reported were male, half of whom were staff and half other residents.

 

 

Grey area: The fragile frontier of dementia, intimacy and sexual consent

The Globe & Mail (Canada), July 14, 2018

Amid ever-widening cultural conversations about sexual consent, dementia remains uncharted territory. As Canadians live longer, more are moving into long-term care with advancing dementia disorders. It’s a growing population with complex needs, not least of all in their intimate lives.

In the close-quarters environment of nursing homes, these people’s sexuality poses difficult ethical dilemmas for staff and for families

 

Introducing the LGBTI Concierge Service from ECH

ECH, January 2018

Aged care provider ECH is excited to launch the LGBTI Concierge Service which provides information and assistance to our community about ECH services and the aged care system. The Concierge Service has been designed by ECH and 13 older people who identify as lesbian, gay and/or transgender.

The aim of the service is to assist older people from LGBTI communities to access and navigate the aged care system in a culturally safe way. The LGBTI Concierges are LGBTI community members, with the knowledge of aged care services and how to access these through My Aged Care. The LGBTI Concierges will speak with people who need support to stay living independently at home and talk through options and services to enable this, such as Retirement Living accommodation, at-home services, allied health services, fitness programs or carer respite services.

The LGBTI Concierge Service is a unique service in Australia and ECH is proud to be the first aged care provider in South Australia to receive Rainbow Tick accreditation and to provide a flagship service for elders from LGBTI communities.

When is the service available? There will be a LGBTI Concierge available to speak with 3.5hrs per day, every business day. If an LGBTI concierge is not available immediately, they will return your call within 1 business day.

 

  • The LGBTI concierges can be contacted every business day on 1300 275 324. They are also available  to come and meet with your community organisation  to talk about ECH and how our concierge service can help members of your community group or organisation.

 

  • For further information or to arrange a  meeting for your group, please email the diversity manager at ECH, Robyn Burton 

 

 

A Fate Worse than Death? Being Transgender in Long-term Care

Psychology Benefits Society blog ( American Psychological Association), Oct 26, 2017

“I would kill myself.” This is what a 70 year-old transgender woman told me recently when I asked what she would do if she needed long-term care. While this sounds dramatic, it is a common sentiment among older transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) adults (Witten, 2014).

Many TGNC older adults do not have family caregivers available to meet their needs for assistance in later life, having been rejected and ostracized by their families of origin according to a study by Grant and colleagues (2011), and long-term care services may be their only option.

Read more of Being Transgender in Long-term Care

 

Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia Survey Results, Part 6: Discrimination in Health, Community Services or Aged Care

Posted on

This post is the final in a series of six, reporting the results of The State of Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia survey I conducted at the start of 2017.

In all, 1,672 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) Australians provided valid responses to that survey.

In this article, I will be focusing on their answers to four questions, asking whether they have experienced discrimination in health, community services or aged care, whether any of this discrimination occurred in the past 12 months, whether this discrimination related to religious organisations and to provide an example of the discrimination that they experienced.