SA boost for transgender and intersex ageing
A project looking to address the issues in transgender and intersex ageing will soon begin in South Australia with the help of federal funds.
Alzheimer’s Australia South Australia (AASA) received the funding to build on the pilot project of the past 18 months which looks at LGBT dementia and ageing.
“Information collected by AASA over the last five years has indicated that where a client from a LGBTI community has made contact with us, they did not remain active in services due to a perceived feeling of discrimination and lack of ‘fit’ with mainstream services,” general manager of Alzheimer’s South Australia Marie Alford told blaze.
“This project seeks to extend and build upon the work piloted in the National Dementia Support Program Supplementary Grant monies in regards to community development partnerships and training within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex communities with an increased focus on the more diverse areas of the communities not previously or easily addressed.
“This project also includes the start of a transgender and intersex project focusing on dementia and ageing, initially scoping existing knowledge and resources and undertaking a needs analysis before preparing a report and planning for the future.”
Alford said that by 2031 they could be looking at providing services to over 37,200 people who are not heterosexual
“A further group which has remained mainly invisible to service providers and agencies is that of transgender and intersex communities who may face the most discrimination during cognitive impairment and/or caring relationships,” she said.
“No research exists about the lived ageing experience of this cohort and no dementia prevalence or statistical information of any kind is accessible.
“However, given that a percentage of the population identifies as transgender or intersex it is therefore understood a percentage of that group will either develop dementia or be a carer for someone living with dementia.”
Alford added it is imperative to begin the work now to lay a secure foundation for their current and future client groups.
“This project is designed to work across South Australia, with potential learning to inform national practice, and to be accessible to a diverse range of the LGBTI communities,” she said.
“The exact number of clients to be assisted is an unknown target market, however the project is fluid to meet the needs to increasing numbers of clients, provide training and support to frontline staff in aged care and specialise and focus on specific issues facing transgender and intersex communities.
“The ability to develop further from the existing program with capacity for data collection will allow the development of robust data to inform future planning as well.”