Dementia care and LGBT communities: a good practice paper

National Care Forum
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A case study-based report exploring specific support for LGBT people with dementia and offering a glimpse into the possibilities for good practice. While LGBT people with dementia share some of the same experiences as heterosexual people living with dementia, there will be many issues that are not the same. They may worry about being forced “back into the closet” in later life because of the attitudes of care staff; they may be more likely to be estranged from relatives and lacking family support; some people may lose their inhibitions due to dementia, while others who have previously come out feel unable to be open about their sexuality or transgender status; and the anguish and confusion caused by dementia may be exacerbated as LGBT people with the condition may struggle to deal with negative perceptions of their sexuality or gender in residential care. The three examples outlined in the report include the Anchor sheltered housing scheme, Gay Advice Darlington and the Over the Rainbow, Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Trans People and Dementia project. Underpinned by a person-centred, rights-based approach, they show how to involve LGBT people in shaping policies and practices on dementia care; the importance of a partnership approach between health, social care and voluntary sector when supporting LGBT people with dementia; and the vital role of research in developing and refining methods of support; this can involve, for example, LGBT people’s hopes for their future care. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
case studies, LGBT people, good practice, dementia, older people, person-centred care, rights based approach;
Content type:
practice example
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