LGBTQIA+ Seniors Face Aged Care Challenges in Australia, Sweden Offers Progressive Alternative

LGBTQIA+ seniors in Australia face limited aged care options, with some hiding their identity. Sweden's progressive housing offers a model for inclusive care, highlighting the need for more equitable policies.

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LGBTQIA+ Seniors Face Aged Care Challenges in Australia, Sweden Offers Progressive Alternative

LGBTQIA+ Seniors Face Aged Care Challenges in Australia, Sweden Offers Progressive Alternative

LGBTQIA+ seniors in Australia are facing limited aged care options compared to the wider community, with some feeling the need to hide their identity in faith-based facilities. Julie Peters, a trans woman in her 70s, is concerned about finding welcoming aged care that will allow her to be her authentic self.

While Australia was the first country to have a National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy, there is still more work to be done to ensure equitable access and inclusive care for LGBTQIA+ seniors. "I'm worried that I'm going to end up in an aged care facility where I won't be able to be myself," Peters said.

In contrast, Sweden's Regnbågen cooperative housing in Stockholm offers a progressive alternative for LGBTQIA+ seniors, providing comprehensive amenities and a welcoming environment. The facility demonstrates what is possible when aged care is designed with inclusivity in mind.

Why this matters: The challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ seniors in accessing appropriate aged care highlight ongoing inequities and the need for more inclusive policies and practices. Ensuring that all seniors, regardless of their identity, can access welcoming and supportive aged care is a matter of dignity and human rights.

Australia does have some bright spots, such as the Hepburn House aged care facility which is accredited as a 'Rainbow Tick' organization for its commitment to LGBTQIA+ inclusion. However, advocates say much more needs to be done across the aged care sector to ensure LGBTQIA+ seniors can age with dignity and without fear of discrimination.

Key Takeaways

  • LGBTQIA+ seniors in Australia face limited aged care options.
  • Some hide identity in faith-based facilities due to lack of inclusivity.
  • Sweden's Regnbågen cooperative housing offers progressive alternative for LGBTQIA+ seniors.
  • Australia has some inclusive facilities, but more progress is needed across aged care sector.
  • Ensuring equitable, inclusive aged care is a matter of dignity and human rights.