In the world of health care and social care, as well as elsewhere in society, awareness is growing around the needs and preferences of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans) population here in the UK. Elderly LGBT people, in particular, may appreciate a deeper, more carefully individualised understanding of their situations as they begin a new relationship with a carer. Here are just a few ways Guardian Angel Carers seek to meet the needs of elderly LGBT people.
How we can meet the needs of the elderly with LGBT
• Though the LGBT population is often understood as a united and single group, we understand that all people are individuals who have particular preferences.
When it comes to understanding society and the groups of people that form communities within a society, it can be all too easy to rely on categories of details rather than on specifics. We understand the importance of talking with you and your family about your exact needs and preferences rather than making assumptions about your situation.
• We know that the word ‘family’ can mean different things to different people.
Some people enjoy close relationships with members of their families of origin, while many others rely most on their family members of choice. We make the effort to talk with you about your relationships and to find out with whom you have the closest connections and with whom you prefer to maintain boundaries.
• We understand that sexuality and sexual identity matter throughout one’s entire life.
Though years may pass and circumstances change, identity matters often stay the same. We understand that the personal qualities that make you an individual are just as relevant now as they were in years past, no matter your marital status or family situation.
• Whenever we are in doubt about something, we ask.
Assumptions can have a negative effect on any relationship, so as we develop our relationship with you and your family members, we actively look for opportunities to get to know you better. In this way, we are able to find out more about your preferences and other details that make you feel most comfortable whilst in our care.
• We are aware that some LGBT people continue to face challenging decisions and dilemmas about their identities; we always seek to be supportive and respectful advocates.
Members of the older LGBT population have experienced different histories and experiences, positive and negative, as the world continues to learn more about what it means to be LGBT. Though today’s contemporary society is better educated about the LGBT experience than society of the past, not everyone sees the world in the same way, so we seek to be advocates as we support you and respond to you at home and in the wider community.
• We are aware that prejudice and intolerance against LGBT people still exist and that all individuals need to feel safe and secure.
Despite the positive changes that have taken place in contemporary culture, we understand that the world is far from perfect and that members of the LGBT population must sometimes continue to face challenges that others do not. We acknowledge that the injustice of this phenomenon and work hard to make you and your loved ones feel safe and secure whilst in our care.