Bring Dementia Out was launched in January 2019. As part of this innovation, National Dementia Action Alliance are proud to have co-produced a booklet, online hub and poster with LGBT+ people affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s Society, and LGBT+ organisations (including Switchboard in Brighton and Hove, LGBT Foundation in Manchester, and the National LGBT Partnership). Bring Dementia Out is an innovation that aims to help LGBT+ people affected by dementia get better access to support and information in Brighton and Hove and Greater Manchester. The booklet sits alongside a series of resources, including a video, online hub and posters, to raise awareness and understanding of challenges faced by LGBT+ people affected by dementia. This was tested in Brighton and Hove and Greater Manchester over January and February this year.
The Bring Dementia Out booklet, which can be ordered through the online hub, details some of the additional challenges LGBT+ people affected by dementia may face:
- LGBT+ people with dementia may start to have strong memories of distressing experiences from an earlier part of their lives, when they may have faced discrimination or stigma. This can be particularly troubling for trans people who may start to have much stronger memories of a time before they changed their gender, and may think they are living in this time. This can make day-to-day things like going to the toilet or getting dressed confusing and difficult.
- LGBT+ people affected by dementia may also fear discrimination from health and social care professionals, and so might not feel able to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity when accessing services. This may be more pronounced if the person is part of a community that is less accepting of LGBT+ people – for example if they have migrated from a country where it is illegal to be LGBT+.
- Some LGBT+ people affected by dementia feel isolated, especially if they may have no long-term partner or family to support them. Their ‘chosen family’ may consist of close friends rather than traditional family relations and these people are often not included in conversations about their care and support.
If you are in Brighton and Hove or Greater Manchester and are interested in ordering the booklet and finding out more about Bring Dementia Out and how you can help, please visit alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/bring-dementia-out