Location pin icon

Embracing Inclusive Care

Embracing Inclusive Care
Date published: 5 June 2023 Author: Zoe Armbrust Categories:
In recent years, the country has taken great strides towards promoting inclusivity and equality for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals. However, there is still work to be done to ensure that vulnerable LGBT individuals receive the appropriate support and care they deserve.
Addressing Unique Challenges

LGBT individuals, particularly those living with dementia, face distinct challenges as their identities and relationships may not be recognised or acknowledged. To ensure their well-being, it is essential to address these challenges with care and sensitivity.

Gathering information about relationship histories and significant individuals in their lives can be vital. It helps carers understand and respect their identities, relationships, and support systems, even when the individual’s memory is compromised.

Many LGBT individuals experience higher rates of social isolation due to a lack of family support or the loss of chosen family members. If desired, carers should make efforts to connect them with LGBT-affirming support networks, community organisations, or online platforms to reduce feelings of loneliness and provide a sense of belonging.

Carers, and care providers, should be aware that the people they support may have grown up with feelings of shame and a need to hide their identity for reasons of safety. A truly person-centred approach that considers the range of experiences of LGBT individuals can be a significant step towards inclusive care.

Recognising Health Disparities

LGBT individuals may face unique health disparities, including higher rates of mental health concerns, substance abuse, and social isolation. These disparities can be exacerbated when combined with dementia. It is crucial to be mindful of these disparities and tailor care plans accordingly. Collaborating with healthcare providers knowledgeable about LGBT health issues can address specific needs and ensure comprehensive care.

Valuing Chosen Families and Support Systems

LGBT individuals often have chosen families or support systems that may not align with traditional notions of familial relationships. These relationships are vital for their well-being. Recognise and respect the significance of chosen families, partners, or close friends. Engage them in the care process, ensuring they have the same rights and responsibilities as legally recognised family members.

Improving Treatment Across the Sector

Partnering with LGBT organisations and advocacy groups can provide valuable insights and resources to enhance the quality of care. Collaborating with these organisations can also assist in staff training and awareness programmes. Ongoing training and education are crucial to ensure carers remain knowledgeable and sensitive to the needs of LGBT individuals. This includes staying updated with evolving terminologies, understanding the nuances of gender identity and sexual orientation, and being aware of local LGBT support services.

Supporting vulnerable LGBT individuals in the UK care sector is not just a professional duty but a personal commitment to fostering inclusivity and respect. By addressing the unique challenges faced by elderly LGBT individuals and those living with dementia, we can ensure they receive the compassionate care they deserve. Let us embrace inclusive policies, collaborate with LGBT organisations, and continuously educate ourselves to provide a nurturing environment where all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can age with dignity and warmth. Together, we can create a care sector that truly reflects the values of equality and compassion.

– Grzegorz Wrzosek, Country Manager for Promedica24 UK

More from our blog

Skip to content