Queensland's first LGBTI aged care opens

Qld's first LGBTI aged care home Arcare Parkwood opens

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RAINBOW RIBBON: Queensland AIDS Council CEO Rebecca Reynolds, Arcare CEO Colin Singh, Local Liberal state member for Bonney, Sam OConnor at the opening of Arcare Parkwood.

RAINBOW RIBBON: Queensland AIDS Council CEO Rebecca Reynolds, Arcare CEO Colin Singh, Local Liberal state member for Bonney, Sam OConnor at the opening of Arcare Parkwood.

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The 90-bed home in the Gold Coast hinterland for LGBTI elders is a mix of permanent and dementia care.

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More than 650 people came to celebrate the opening of the state's first LGBTI aged care home.

Arcare Parkwood in the Gold Coast hinterland will provide 90 suites for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) elders and a mix of permanent and dementia care,

Speaking at the open day on November 9, Arcare chief executive Colin Singh said the company was "extremely proud" to be opening its first LGBTI residence and the first in Queensland.

He said Arcare has been working with Queensland AIDS Council, (QuAC), on its recruitment and team training to make sure the facility meets the needs of Queensland's diverse LGBTI communities.

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"Team members will be trained according to The National LGBTI Health Alliance's Silver Rainbow aged care training package, delivered by QuAC, and we have formed an advisory group with QuAC and members of the LGBTI communities," he said.

"We have also updated our application forms to adhere to and reflect various genders and sexualities and we are also working towards getting our rainbow tick accreditation, which we will make significant progress on next year."

The project is being supported by the Queensland AIDS Council

QuAC chief executive Rebecca Reynolds said the organisation has seen the impact the Silver Rainbow Aged Care Training it delivers has had in the aged care sector.

"The actions Arcare is taking now will ensure that its LGBTI Brotherboy and Sistergirl residents are able to continue to live their lives proudly and celebrate who they are as they move into aged care," she said.

Arcare Parkwood's Enrolled Nurse, Emma Donaldson, who's a member of the LGBTI community herself said she is excited to be a part of the team implementing necessary change to see the elderly LGBTI community supported in ways they have not been before.

"I'm excited to work in an environment where we can share so much of our personal lives together and openly speak about our personal experiences. This topic is often a taboo among this generation and they are not a 100 per cent accepting or, if they are part of the LGBTI community, they are very private about it," Ms Donaldson said.

"I hope to achieve a community where the residents feel comfortable about themselves, they don't have to hide anymore, they can be around people who are accepting and know they are part of a safe community."

There will also be an on-site a hair salon, community room, private dining, wellbeing centre, theatre/workshop, two courtyards, activity rooms, outdoor entertaining areas, and dementia support rooms.

Staff are also planning a range of activities to support LGBTI specific social and community engagement and connection opportunities within the residence.

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