There have been significant reforms in Australia over the past 5 years recognising the experiences and needs and rights of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. On this page we share a sample of the key resources. We provide a brief overview and then links to the resource.
Aboriginal LGBTI Elders
It is important to understand the experiences of Indigenous LGBTI Australians. Noel Tovey AM has generously shared his story in articles, film, performance and presentations. Noel wrote an article for the LGBTI Special Edition of the Australasian Journal on Ageing. It’s an important place to start and has the same title as Noel’s wonderful book Little Black Bastard
- Little Black Bastard. Journal article (link)
Abuse – Elder Abuse
Older LGBTI people experience elder abuse in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. In particular, abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex. It is important that these particular forms of abuse are understood – so that they can be prevented. The documents below include a Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on Elder Abuse. You may also like to follow the Tango Project, which is being conducted by Alice’s Garage – and pleased to announce the report on our first year of Tango Project has been launched.
- Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on Elder Abuse (here)
- Tango project (here)
- Report on Tango Project 2017 (TangoProjectReport)
Aged Care Assessment is a poorly understood aspect of LGBTI inclusive services. Beyond ‘the right question’ assessors and service providers need to understand historical experiences, cultural safety and the influence of their own values and beliefs.
- LGBTI inclusive aged care assessment guide sheets (here)
These resources outline the experiences and needs of older LGBTI carers and the carers of older LGBTI people. Interviews and a survey form the basis of a resource that includes stories from carers and a guide to LGBTI inclusive services for carers
There is a myth that being ‘gay’ is just about who a person has sex with and that being ‘trans’ is just about clothes a person wears. This paper on culturally safe services is particularly useful for service providers who don’t understand why LGBTI inclusive services are necessary.
- The Rainbow Makers: culturally safe aged care services (the-rainbow-makers-resource)
- It’s more than sex and clothes: culturally safe services for older LGBT people. Article (link)
- On the same page report (SamePage)
There was a myth that LGBT people who had dementia ‘became straight’. To address this myth and document the experiences and needs of LGBT people living with dementia interviews with LGBT people living with dementia were conducted. The result is a series of narrative based resources and a guide in LGBTI inclusive services for people living with dementia:
Experiences of aged care
One of the key turning points in recognition of older LGBTI Australians was a research report commissioned by Matrix Guild of Victoria and Vintage Men Inc, funded by the Reichstein Foundation in 2007. The research documented for the first time in Australia older LGBT people’s experiences of aged care. The narratives in the My People report created a powerful visibility. The research was followed up with research on service providers perspectives on caring for older LGBTI people.
In 2009 the Department of Health in Victoria implemented a diversity planning framework for Home and Community Care (HACC) Services. The diversity framework required that HACC services consider the diversity of clients – including LGBTI clients. The Department’s guide to Diversity planning includes a chapter on LGBTI clients and was followed up with the development of a HACC Pack or guide to LGBTI inclusive HACC services.
- The needs of elders living with Intersex variation are poorly understood. The following resources were developed in collaboration with OII, a national body for and by people with intersex variations:
- As we age: narrative resource – link coming soon
- As we age: guide to practice – (here)
- Appropriate bodies and other damn lies. Article (link)
Mental health and wellbeing
In 2010 beyondblue commissioned research on older LGBTI Australians experiences of discrimination and the impacts on their mental wellbeing. The stories in the No Need To Straighten Up report are compelling and five years later beyondblue followed up with research on strategies for wellbeing:
- Psychiatrist statement on LGBTI mental wellbeing. Statement (RANZCstatement)
- No Need To Straighten Up. Report (here)
- Social Connections, relationships and older lesbian and gay people. Article (here)
- Improving mental health for older LGBTI Australians. Report (here)
Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria has developed a set of national standards for LGBTI inclusive services. The standards can be utilised by organisations to understand where the benchmark is in terms of the development of LGBTI inclusive services. The standards also form the basis of the Rainbow Tick – a process whereby organisations can be formally accredited by external assessors against the standards.
- Information about the national standards for LGBTI inclusive practice (link)
- Beyond a rainbow sticker. Report on the 2013 program: How2 create an LGBTI inclusive service (link)
- Beyond we treat everyone the same. Report on the 2011 program: How2 create an LGBTI inclusive service (link)
- LGBTI inclusive practice: working in rural communities (here)
Self assessment and planning tool for services
Val’s Cafe developed a resource for aged care service providers interested in developing LGBTI inclusive services. The Self Assessment and Planning Tool explores the application of the national standards for LGBTI inclusive practice to aged care services. For each indicator a number of considerations and suggestions for service improvement are provided. Undertaking this simple self audit is an important starting point on the journey to LGBTI inclusive services
- Self Assessment and Planning (SAP) Tool (here)
In 2012 the Federal Government developed a National Strategy for LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Services. The Strategy is a world first and has bipartisan support. The Strategy review document has also now been launched – and the Diversity Plan that followed it.
Research conducted in 2015 documented Trans and Gender Diverse (TGD) people’s experiences of ageing and aged care. The research led to the development of a narrative based report and guide to TGD inclusive aged care services: