It is encouraging to see the government moving toward improved aged care services for Australian Seniors. As the government engages with the aged care sector on the development of longer-term reform, they are already taking steps to help improve the experience of elderly LGBTI people entering aged care facilities.
The department’s website MyAgedCare now has a range of resources for providers to help them better accommodate the needs of LGBTI people. They incude:
- A 24 minute educational video on LGBTI inclusiveness in aged care
- A consumer factsheet providing an overview of aged care services available and how to access them, specifically for the LGBTI community
- A brochure with ‘10 questions to ask about LGBTI needs in residential aged care’.
These resources can be downloaded from the department’s website.
I have written in previous blogs about the difficulties faced by LGBTI people entering aged care facilities. Some sad stories reflect on the lack of understanding of their needs, such as facilities that would not recognize a person’s chosen gender rather than that shown on their birth certificate. Imagine being born male, then bravely living your life as a woman only to be made to live as a man and use male facilities in your old age upon entering aged care accommodation. As an advocate for the elderly, in my role as an Aged Care Placement Consultant, I have met people who have had to face these difficulties.
I therefore embrace the stance taken by the government to improve the experience of LGBTI people entering an aged care facility. I sincerely hope that Australian aged care facilities will continue to improve their understanding and so provide the right support and appropriate accommodation to elderly residents within this group.