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Creating Inclusive Residential Care for LGBTQ+ Elders
Older LGBTQ+ people in care
At least 1.5 million people in the UK identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer). They may have a greater need to access social care, specifically residential care, as they are more likely to live alone.
Research shows that older people who are LGBTQ+ experience discrimination when they use social care services, including residential care homes. During public consultation conversations, LGBTQ+ people told us that they are worried about going into residential care.
This is an ongoing issue and raises some important questions on how we can create more inclusive care models. Researchers from the University of Kent, Centre for Health Services Studies, led by Jolie Keemink, a leading researcher in this field, aims to address some of these questions in the CIRCLE study (Creating Inclusive Residential Care for LGBTQ+ Elders).
The Community of Practice
The project aim is to support residential care providers to be more inclusive towards older LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, +) people. To support ongoing learning in inclusive care practices, we are setting up an online Community of Practice (CoP); a group of people who share a common interest, come together to share best practice(s) and create new knowledge. This Community of Practice will focus on LGBTQ+ inclusive practice, and function as a support group enabling ongoing improvement and learning related to LGBTQ+ equality, diversity, and inclusion in residential care provision.
The group will be a safe space for people to discuss any concerns or issues arising regarding creating an inclusive LGBTQ+ environment for people, as well as having guest speakers, and training opportunities. This CoP is aimed at residential care providers (for older people), care commissioners, older LGBTQ+ people, and others to whom this area is relevant.
For the third CoP, we will have a session led by Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield about the LGBTQ+ learning framework she created, and how this could apply to your practice. The framework 'aims to provide a base for identifying the insights, knowledge, understanding and skills that the social care workforce need to help them work affirmatively, inclusively and effectively with individuals from gender and sexually diverse communities'.
Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The project to develop the learning framework was funded by Skills for Care and was developed by Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield in collaboration with the LGBT foundation. For more details about the framework, please visit the webpage here.
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