Dr Jane Youell, a Chartered Psychologist, who has been involved in the NDAA’s campaign From Seldom Heard to Seen and Heard, travelled to Australia and the USA to explore how care homes accommodate the diverse sexual identities of people with dementia.
The aim of this Churchill Fellowship was to better understand how aged care services could include and respond to the needs of the LGBTIQ+ community. Jane visited countries where she could find evidence of good practice in LGBTIQ+ aged care. Jane visited Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia and San Francisco, Boston and New York in the USA. Three broad themes emerged from conversations with the many and varied organisations visited, that of National Drive, Organisational Desire and Community Benefits and Good Practice. The theme National Drive addressed the political commitment to improving aged care for the LGBTIQ+ community and how this enabled change through funding opportunities. Organisational Desire speaks of how organisations utilised training and quality improvement standards to create inclusive aged care environments. Jane witnessed many examples of good practice, often small considerations which made a big difference and the theme Community Benefits and Good Practice has tried to capture as many examples as possible.
Next steps and recommendations include lobbying for mandatory cultural humility training, a greater understanding of the health disparities in aged care for the LGBTIQ+ community and how to address them and finding innovative ways to promote the needs of the older Rainbow community in partnership with older LGBTIQ+ people.