A service supporting older members of the LGBTI community has been recognised for innovation through a Better Practice Commendation from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.
LGBTI Connect, which has been run by ECH since November, was co-designed by ECH with input from older gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
The program now employs four staff who identify as LGBTI and allows older people from the community to access information and services tailored to their needs.
Pam Price, who worked in women’s health for 30 years and is now semi-retired, said most members of the LGBTI community have experienced stigma and discrimination and were unlikely to reach out to access the services they need. “Some people have support from family and others, but for those that don’t we can advocate for them and can address issues such as social isolation.”
Most clients are in their 70s and 80s.
“We run a social program which can include casual and informal outings not only for those living in our retirement villages but any other LGBTI community members who would like to come along,” Pam said. “We also work in collaboration with other agencies to deliver services,
“For many members of our community, the social groups are important. They can come together in a safe, non-judgmental environment.”