A government backed report in the UK has found that older LGBT people tend to be more isolated than their straight, cisgender counterparts and are often overlooked in health and social care legislation, Pink News reports.
The National LGB&T Partnership, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group and The National Care Forum conducted the study and found that the national debate around dementia care was excluding older LGBT people.
“This is a woeful failure, particularly considering that the national health and social care agenda is meant to be driven by concepts of personalisation, collaboration, choice and control,” the report says.
“Given these ideals, it is a gross oversight that people from LGBT communities with dementia are unlikely to be considered when care is being commissioned.”
The 1.2 million older LGBT people in the UK were also less likely to have children to care for them and “may be estranged from their family and feel more isolated,” the report states.
“This isolation is compounded if you also have dementia. For example, people with dementia who are moving into a care home rely even more on family to help them prepare for the move, to come in and support them and ensure staff get to know them; someone from the LGBT community may not have that same network.”
Gill Boston—manager of the strategic partner programme that created the report—says there needs to be a more holistic approach to social care.
“This must include recognition of people’s sexuality or gender where it is appropriate to do so.”
“With rising demand for dementia care, this report provides a call to action for all services to ensure that people are able to access the right person-centred support.
“Alongside this we need the workforce to be trained and developed by people from LGBT communities themselves.”