STONEWALL CHARITY - WORKING WITH OLDER LESBIAN, GAY AND BISEXUAL PEOPLE: A GUIDE FOR CARE AND SUPPORT SERVICES
"Practical advice for organisations providing care and support services about how to meet the needs of older lesbian, gay and bisexual people"
"Homecare services that promote themselves as gay-friendly and provide training to staff on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues can demonstrate to older gay people that they can use their services free from discrimination. "
Stonewall Report: ‘Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Later Life.’
The ‘Working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people: A Guide for Care and Support Services’ includes information on how care homes and other organizations can help elderly LGBTQ+ people such as:
- What older gay people need.
- What the law says.
- How to involve older people.
- What care and support workers can do.
- What homecare providers can do.
- What care homes can do.
- What housing providers can do.
- What health services can do.
- What local authorities can do.
The guide suggests that elder service providers regularly involving older LGBTQ+ people in decisions about how their services are run. Ideas include:
• Consulting directly with lesbian, gay and bisexual people via surveys or face-to-face interviews.
• Setting up lesbian, gay and bisexual older people groups to offer feedback, suggest improvements and provide advice.
• Reporting any changes or decisions made about services to lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals and community groups.
The Guide for Care and Support Services suggest that support and homecare workers:
• Don’t assume that the people they care for are heterosexual.
• Ask people open questions about their life and who is important to them.
• In everyday conversation talk about gay people or issues in a non-judgemental way.
• Don’t force people to talk about their sexual orientation if they don’t want to.
• Ask older gay people they care for how they can help support them.
According to a report published by Stonewall in 2011, ‘Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Later Life’Older Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are:
More Likely To Be Single - Gay and bisexual men are almost three times more likely to be single than heterosexual men.
More Likely To Live Alone – 41% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people live alone compared to 28 per cent of heterosexual people.
Less Likely To Have Children- just over a quarter of gay and bisexual men and half of lesbian and bisexual women have children compared to almost nine in ten heterosexual men and women.
Less Likely To See Biological Family Members On a Regular Basis -less than a quarter of lesbian, gay and bisexual people see their biological family members at least once a week compared to more than half of heterosexual people.
Drink Alcohol More Often - 45 per cent drink alcohol at least three or four days a week compared to just 31 per cent of heterosexual people.
More Likely to Take Drugs. 1 in 11 have taken drugs within the last year compared to 1 in 50 heterosexual people.
More Likely To Have A History Of Mental Ill Health and have more concerns about their mental health in the future.
More Likely to be Diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety.
source: Stonewall Report: ‘Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Later Life.’