• Home
  • News
  • LGBTI aged care on government agenda
LGBTI aged care on government agenda

LGBTI aged care on government agenda

LAST UPDATED // Tuesday, 01 May 2012 10:51

The Australian Government will include LGBTI people as a special needs group under the Aged Care Act, and will allocate $2.5m over the next five years for LGBTI training of the aged care workforce, in an announcement greatly welcomed by the likes of ACON and the National LGBTI Health Alliance.

The provisions and funding have been included under a $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better plan to reform the aged care sector announced last Friday by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler.

Under the planned reforms, the Government has stated it will act “to ensure that sexual diversity does not act as a barrier to receiving high quality aged care in either community or residential settings”.

Leading LGBTI ageing expert, Dr Jo Harrison, a gerontologist with the University of South Australia, told SX the “tremendous milestone” was testament to the hard work of those in the community who had raised serious concerns related to LGBTI aged care and discrimination over many years, particularly older LGBTI people themselves.

“Recognition as a special needs group within the Aged Care Act represents a significant shift from virtual invisibility to a clear and solid presence in aged care at federal level in Australia,” Harrison said.

“Special needs group status will enable access to funding and increased attention within policies and programs across aged care. It will also send a strong signal to providers of aged care.”

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said he was hopeful the initiatives would ensure that LGBTI people received the same standard of care as others in the community.

“ACON is delighted that the Australian Government has recognised the value in delivering training for workers who provide aged care services to LGBTI people, and for such programs to be rolled out nationally,” Parkhill said.

Alliance general manager, Warren Talbot, said training of aged care workers was “a vital initiative” and could see LGBTI aged training taking place in every state and territory over the next five years.

“The special needs of LGBTI people are often neglected. The Productivity Commission report broke new ground in recommending special provision for the LGBTI communities, and this has been accepted by the Government,” Talbot said.

“We look forward to multi-partisan support for that legislative change.”

The Alliance has also called for the development of a National LGBTI Aged Care Strategy to help co-ordinate the announced aims.


Comments (10)

  • Stuart Baanstra

    29 April 2012 at 01:54 |
    Gina, that's fantastic!


  • Robert s McCormick

    28 April 2012 at 12:22 |
    Unfortunately Amanda-Sue, whether people like it or not " Discrimiantion Against Difference" is still widespread, including within the entire medical & health arena. May be where you work or have worke the clients, patients have been extremely lucky to have you on staff. However, and yes I will be attacked for being anti-religion or some such nonsense, but there is still an incredible amount of deliberate, cruel-to-the-point-of-Sadism in many Aged Care institutions run by assorted religious organisation, understandably in Australia, for it is still the majority faith people claim to belong to - if never actually practice - the Christian religion.. I worked in a day care centre for a time which was attached to a Community Health Service. It was, as most are, mixed gender. However despite the training, the conferences some of those working there, fully trained nurses, social workers & volunteers any male or female whom, rightly or wrongly, the staff regarded as being "Different" was treated differently. I lost count of the number of times I heard women being referred to as " It doesn't matter, she's just an old dyke/lesbo" or "he's just an old queen/poof, faggot". So yes staff still do need to be trained, to put aside their prejudices, loathing & hatred. I, as I now approach my latter years (mid-70s) am determined that I shall never, ever allow myself to be admitted to any Old Age Institution, go to a day care centre or, if it is within my power have my life taken over by some sadistic, homosexual-hating, religious bigot - male or female
    It matter not one iota what people are taught if they are not prepared to carry those teachings into the work-place. We all have heard the horror stories coming out of those death-houses af the maltreatment & deliberate cruelty being dished out to the unfortunate inmates who, if they have the temerity to complain or thanks to the copious quantities of soporific drugs they are fed, the inability to do so only to have the nursing staff and management close ranks and so patronisingly say " Well, you DO know he/she has dementia (the big lie & buzz-word today) and he/she is just imagining that is what happened to him" or somesuch lying bullshit.
    I don't doubt Amanda-Sue that you are indeed a caring, Compassionate, Honest nurse. The problem is the likes of you are few and far between within the, mostly, heterosexual-filled institutions and I dread to think how those of us who are "Different" will fare when they allow themselves tobe institutionalised.


  • Harry Siemers

    28 April 2012 at 11:20 |
    Its good to see that there is more focus on this area now


  • Erol Dulagil

    25 April 2012 at 19:53 |
    I think it's important to realise that more and more staff in aged care, particularly assistants-in-nursing, are being sourced from the non-english-speaking population of migrants or temp student visa holders because young Australians simply find working with elderly peopel unattractive and uninspiring. While most aged care workers are tolerant and professional and indeed, have a lot of experience in their home country dealing with the elderly, they are also from societies where homosexuality is barely tolerated or illegal and gays are threatened with physical violence or worse.

    It would be tragic that in their twilight years, elderly GLBTI Australians might not be able to be themselves because the people on whom they rely most - their carers - don't have enough training and understanding of the diverse and tolerant society that we are trying to be.


  • Peter Darkest Queensland

    24 April 2012 at 13:05 |
    I'm glad that you are a caring nurse... you are an angel and a treasure.


  • Dave

    24 April 2012 at 12:31 |
    With so many government enquiries showing entrenched discrimination in many aged care services, the answer is simple, include GLBTI Australians in the Equal Opportunity Act. We should not be left to the mercy of some nice nurses and doctors, our rights should be entrenched to be the same as any other person. The last thing anyone wants is to come out, live a happy life, then go back into the closet in order to get access Aged Care service. My husband is the Doctor, and in his career he has seen much discrimination. Some people talk of the plan. This involves taking their own life when they are older rather than defrock. In some of the enquiries you read submissions about people having to go back into the closet, and it is truly awful. There are some great staff doing some great work, but there are some who are simply horrible because legally they can be. We need Federal Laws, we need the protection of the Equal Opportunity with no exemptions given to religious businesses. Often in a country town there is only one or two providers. Religious businesses who are given state resources should not then exclude people from those resources, but presently they can, we are their mercy also.


  • Amanda-Sue Markham

    24 April 2012 at 09:06 |
    I'm confused.....do you want to be recognised as a special needs group or do you want equality??? As a nurse I find it offensive that anyone would suggest that I would deliver inferior care to anyone, for any reason. This is ridiculous. When I did my nursing degree, we were taught it was imperative that all diversity be respected, cultural and spiritual as well....why spend millions of dollars to 're-educate'...only to say the same thing again? You are assuming that nurses and aged care staff are un-educated and unreasonable.


  • Andrew Shaw

    24 April 2012 at 08:56 |


  • Chip

    23 April 2012 at 20:39 |
    What does the I in LGBTI refer to?


  • Gina

    23 April 2012 at 18:49 |
    not widely reported on but this is the first time in the world Intersex habve been specificaly incluyded in aged care provisions and policy


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.