“Older LGBT people’s experiences indicate that they are an invisible and marginalised population in later life”Dr Trish Hafford-Letchfield,
Professor of Social Care, Middlesex University
Care home staff and managers often lack knowledge about the delivery of personalised care to older LGBT residents. Older LGBT people’s experiences indicate that they are an invisible and marginalised population in later life and their life stories and relationships are frequently overlooked by care providers and staff and managers employed in care homes. This action research project was motivated by the lack of knowledge amongst care staff and managers about the identities, relationships and life-histories of residents who identify as LGBT. We worked with a large care home provider and six care homes in England to increase awareness and knowledge amongst staff about sexual and gender diversity and social inclusion. We followed a co-productive approach by recruiting eight volunteer LGBT Community Advisors (CAs) to work with us in carrying out an audit of care homes on LGBT inclusion. We devised an audit and assessment tool to assist CAs with gathering key information. With training and support, CAs engaged in sensitive, and sometimes personally challenging conversations with staff and managers. Through our evaluation, we identified clear evidence of gains in awareness by managers and staff during and after the three month intervention. A ten-point action plan was devised to help take forward these initial gains in the long-term.
This resource was uploaded as part of our conference, ‘Home Comforts’, which is aimed at sharing best practice in adult social care.