New guidance published today by Stonewall gives care and support services practical advice about how to meet the needs of older lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people – supported by Awards for All – offers recommendations and models good practice for all public bodies that work with older gay people.
Stonewall research – Lesbian, gay and bisexual people in later life – showed that a significant proportion of older gay people are likely to live alone, have limited family support and rely on formal services for help in the future. Many experienced or fear discrimination because of their sexual orientation, creating a barrier to receiving appropriate care and treatment. Working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people provides guidance on how Care and Support Services can meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people as become older.
The guidance covers the current legal situation, engaging with older people, and tailored recommendations for care and support workers, homecare providers, Care homes, housing providers, health services and local authorities.
James Taylor, Stonewall Senior Health Officer said: ‘For the one million lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain over the age of 55 growing old is a real concern. Stonewall’s new guidance for professionals can have an immediate and practical impact – changes to policy and staff training can make things better. But it can be the simple things too, such as awareness and communication. We hope this guide helps professionals deliver better services, treating all older people with dignity and respect they deserve.’
Working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people can be downloaded from www.stonewall.org.uk/age or call 08000 50 20 20 for a free copy.