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New tools improve quality of life for LGBTI seniors


A new free video series for aged care staff explores the needs of LGBTI seniors

A provider-led collaborative has launched learning videos and an app to support aged care services and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender diverse and Intersex seniors.

The tools have been developed as part of the commonwealth-funded Rainbow of Difference project,  partnership between NSW and ACT aged care provider Uniting, the University of Technology Sydney, and Altura Learning that aims to support organisations to grow culturally-appropriate services.

The resources, which were launched on Monday, include a digital education program for aged care staff available from Altura Learning that includes videos featuring real stories of older people and their views about aged care, dementia and at end of life.

There’s also a free mobile app called Mosiac, which aims to assist LGBTI people plan their ageing needs and support care teams to develop safe inclusive practices.

Uniting executive manager of ageing practice excellence Lana Richards said the resources would provide older people with more choice.

“The Rainbow of Difference project set out to engage the LGBTI communities in the design of resources that would assist them to better plan their ageing and to involve their families of choice, care teams and aged care organisations in that process,” Ms Richards tells Australian Ageing Agenda.

Lana Richards

“The app Mosaic addresses the lack of visibly inclusive service providers by allowing organisations to develop and market their inclusive care services,” she said.

“The video series also explores the complexity of the needs of LGBTI people in the context of dementia, as well as the importance of respecting a person’s wishes during their end stage of life,” she said.

The project also involved a coaching program at Uniting to extend the reach of the resources and an evaluation by UTS researchers.

Impact on quality of life

Ms Richards said these resources were needed to support safe and inclusive care for LGBTI aged care recipients.

“Discrimination against LGBTI people continues to exist in our society and in health and wellbeing settings despite increasing social acceptance and more inclusive legislation.

“LGBTI people have historically faced significant barriers to accessing aged care. Lack of visible inclusion within services leads to social isolation for members of the LGBTI community that negatively impacts health outcomes,” Ms Richards said.

The resources will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of the older LGBTI people and the aged care system as a whole, Ms Richards said.

“The tools provide the opportunity to facilitate conversations about what’s important to them in planning for their future,” Ms Richards said.

The Mosaic app is available to download on iOS and Android devices.

Access the videos here.

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