Uniting AgeWell recognises that ageing is a unique and important experience for people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQA+) community.
About 11 per cent of the Australian population – some 2.7 million people – identify as LGBTIQA+. Many of these people have experienced inequitable treatment throughout their lives, suffering or fearing stigma, rejection, persecution or discrimination.
A 2015 La Trobe University study found many older LGBTIQA+ people fear discrimination from aged care and health service providers and avoid accessing vital services. Among other things, it found they fear ignorance and stigma from professionals dealing with their care.
At Uniting AgeWell, we celebrate the contributions LGBTIQA+ staff, volunteers and clients have made to our communities over decades, and support the right of LGBTIQA+ people to have equitable access to high quality, culturally appropriate aged care.
Since 2014, we have been working to incorporate LGBTIQA+-inclusive practice into our residential and community services; work that was recognised with a prestigious Dorothies Award in 2016.
We provide LGBTIQA+ training to staff and have sought to engage the entire organisation – from the board, executives and staff to volunteers and clients – in our vision to become LGBTIQA+ inclusive.
Work on our LGBTIQA+ strategy is ongoing. The ultimate goal is to gain Rainbow Tick accreditation, signifying we have worked to make our services welcoming of the LGBTIQA+ community and able to meet their needs.
Uniting AgeWell shares the Uniting Church’s spirit of embracing diversity, respecting differences, being open to discuss controversial issues and what it means to be inclusive of all people.
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