What is Life Like For Our ‘LGBTI’ Community in Aged Care?

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I have to admit I have not yet come across any people within aged care from the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex) community. I have always wondered whether they have extra stigma to deal with on top of the stigmas associated with dementia?

I would imagine there could be some homophobic attitudes and ignorance from carers, people with dementia and other family members, in our aged care homes. On the flipside, I have also heard a story of a man that only felt safe to ‘come out’ once he entered an aged care facility.

Are transgender people considered by their birth gender? Are there specific policies for LGBTI people in aged care homes? Is there any training on this topic within Cert 3 (Aged Care)? As the background and personal history of a person with dementia is critical to handling behaviours (and providing person centred care)…does this still apply to the LGBTI community?… and to what extent?

As you can tell I have very little knowledge in this area (plus plenty of questions), but thought it was important to have the conversation. I believe that a ‘dementia friendly community’ should be one that is ‘all inclusive’ and no-one gets left behind. I am just interested to know if our LGBTI community are being considered and treated equally in our aged care system in 2016?

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