New guidance for working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people

Guidance launched today by Stonewall Cymru gives practical advice about how to meet the needs of older lesbian, gay and bisexual people to those providing care and support services.

The guide, ‘Working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people’, offers recommendations and models of good practice for all public bodies that work with older people.

The launch of the guide, which will be attended by key stakeholders working across the health and social care sectors, is being supported by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, as part of her work to improve public services for all older people, promote good practice and ensure that older people are treated with dignity and respect when they receive care and support.  

Stonewall research in 2011 ‘Lesbian, gay and bisexual people in later life’ found 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 and many experience or fear discrimination because of their sexual orientation, creating a barrier to receiving appropriate care and treatment. The guidance covers the current legal situation, engaging with older people, with tailored recommendations for care and support workers, homecare providers, care homes, housing providers, health services and local authorities.

Andrew White, Director of Stonewall Cymru said: “For the 57,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales over the age of 55, growing older is a real concern. Stonewall Cymru’s bilingual guidance for professionals can have an immediate and practical impact. Changes to policy and staff training can make things better but it can also be the simple things such as awareness and communication that make a real difference to real lives.”

Sarah Rochira, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “I want Wales to be a good place to grow older, not just for some but for everyone. Older people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and receive the highest quality care and support in any setting, regardless of their sexual orientation. This excellent guide offers a range of practical support for those providing care and support to older people and I hope it is widely used to make a big difference to the lives of older lesbian, gay and bisexual people across Wales.”
 
Working with older lesbian, gay and bisexual people can be downloaded from
www.stonewallcymru.org.uk/age or email cymru@stonewallcymru.org.uk for a free copy.


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