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The new initiative safeguards the needs of the older LGBTI community.

A new initiative launched by leading home care provider St. Ives Home Care will safeguard the needs of older same sex couples, bisexual, intersex and transgender people.

By working with organisations including WA-based GRAI-GLBTI Rights in Ageing Incorporated, the St. Ives Home Care leadership team implemented extensive training for St. Ives Home Care staff to better understand and deal with the daily challenges faced by the LGBTI community.

Staff members have been introduced to the initiative through the ‘The Right to Belong’ workshop. Existing staff will have access to diversity learning modules and videos, articles and reports, while new support workers will learn about the differing needs and quality of life issues faced by people of diverse sexualities and gender identities as they get older.

St. Ives Home Care is proud to head up the initiative with staff and clients formally considering the needs of the LGBTI community, according to Chief Operating Officer Care Michelle De Ronchi.

To identify members of staff who participated in the workshop, the home care provider has introduced a rainbow flag pin. Ms De Ronchi said the pins indicate “we are open to talking about the LGBTI community, and the response has been one of wide acceptance.”

The home care provider has also formed a committee that is working towards gaining Rainbow Tick Accreditation. This accreditation is given to organisations that meet six national standards of inclusive practice and service delivery for LGBTI clients.

The committee was formed shortly after a workshop that was held earlier this year that highlighted the everyday issues that same sex, bisexual and transgender people deal with. This gives the St. Ives Home Care carers the opportunity to show support to the LGBTI community in their quest to live with independence, dignity, and compassion.

St. Ives Home Care has also designed a staff survey to capture people’s thoughts on how to better improve services, while a part-time diversity and wellness officer has been appointed to oversee the program.


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