The federal government has released its Aged Care Diversity Action Plan for senior LGBTIQ Australians, to help address specific challenges they face when accessing aged care services.
The plan, announced by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt on Monday, is intended to help LGBTIQ people express their needs when speaking with aged care providers and to support aged care workers understand the needs and perspectives of the LGBTIQ seniors in their care.
Mr Wyatt said he wanted LGBTIQ seniors to have the same opportunities and options in aged care which are available to all Australians.
“This plan has been informed by a broad consultation process with consumers, carers, providers, and peak bodies to capture the voice and experiences of senior LGBTI people,” he said.
“By providing culturally safe and inclusive services, providers will build confidence among senior LGBTI people, their carers, families, and allies.
“Everyone in Australia has the right to access quality, inclusive, and culturally safe aged care services that cater to their individual needs and respect their background and life experiences.”
More than one in ten senior Australians have diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex characteristics, Mr Wyatt said.
The action plan lists six outcomes for aged care consumers, addressing issues such as the clear provision of LGBTI-inclusive information; training for staff on providing culturally safe care to LGBTI people and people living with HIV; the provision of aged care services in regional areas; the combating of social isolation; and the different barriers faced by lesbian women and gay men.
The federal government’s LGBTI action plan is one of four developed under the Aged Care Diversity Framework.
The Aged Care Diversity Framework and the Aged Care Diversity LGBTI Action Plan are available to view the Department of Health’s website.