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The National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference

Vals cafe

The National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference 2014 was held at a packed Melbourne Town Hall on 28th-29th October 2014. The Conference was hosted by Val’s Cafe - a project seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Over the two days, many issues of the LGBTI ageing community were presented, including stories of discrimination, social isolation, lack of LGBTI inclusive services, and increased psychological distress compared to the general population.

Understanding the historical context of the LGBTI community was a prominent theme discussed throughout the Conference.  Key events showing extreme discrimination, social exclusion and trauma that has occurred over the years were highlighted. These events have had a profound impact on LGBTI people, and continue to do so into their ageing years.

A study that is currently being undertaken on LGBTI people who are living with dementia by Teresa Chorazyczewski from Alzheimer’s Australia Queensland and Sally Lambourne from Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, saw emerging issues such as fears of being “outed” by a partner who has dementia; coming out ‘over and over again’ to service providers; not wanting to be labelled; and people being suspicious of aged care providers.

Conference delegates were presented with many resources and training options for service providers, including the Rainbow Tick Accreditation developed by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV). The Rainbow Tick consists of six standards against which services can be formally accredited to demonstrate LGBTI inclusive practice and service delivery.

Visit Val’s Cafe website for more information, training and resources for LGBTI inclusive practices.