Information for older LGBTI people

Services, care and support information for consumers

General information for older LGBTI people & carers

All older people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/gender diverse, and intersex (LGBTI) people have the right to safely access aged care services without discrimination.

Val’s LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care works with services across the health and aged care sector to improve the health, wellbeing and visibility of older LGBTI people, and build their capacity to be LGBTI safe and inclusive. Val’s is committed to ensuring that older LGBTI people and their carers can safely access information, care and support to assist them as they age.

The following pages provide a range of general information about ageing, aged care and support services for older LGBTI people, and their carers.

The information on these pages is provided for older LGBTI people and aims to assist with entry, access, care and support options, and advocacy assistance. You can also contact Val’s by email: valslgbti@latrobe.edu.au or phone: (03) 9479 8740 for more information on these services or any information required about services to help meet and support your needs.

Service information, entry & access

Services at home and community

Community and home-based services can keep you independent and living at home for as long as possible and include assistance with domestic tasks such as cleaning and meal preparation, personal care assistance such as grooming, showering etc., and assistance with shopping which might include taking you shopping.

Residential Aged Care services

Residential Aged Care services are designed to provide care and support to older people with higher needs and complex care requirements.

My Aged Care

Both in-home and residential aged care services are available to all eligible people to assist them as they age and are funded by the federal government. These include low-level care and support in your home and community – through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), higher levels of in-home care known as Home Care Packages (HCP), and the highest-level care provided through residential aged care services. These services are all based on eligibility and need, and access is via My Aged Care (link below).

All services provided are required to be supportive, inclusive and person-centred – which includes providing care and support to older LGBTI people.

You can contact My Aged Care directly, for information, to determine eligibility and/or to gain access. Or you can seek assistance with this process through one of the Aged Care navigator programs (see next item)

My Aged Care

Aged Care Navigator services

Some people might find directly accessing information and support from My Aged Care complex and confusing, therefore all older people, their carers and supports can receive information and assistance to navigate My Aged Care and access to services through Aged Care Navigator services.

Aged Care Navigators provide personal, free and independent advice, information and assistance to guide you through the aged care system. They help you understand, identify, compare and select the right aged care services for you.

Contact COTA (Council on the Ageing) Navigator program here

Carer Gateway

All people providing care can access a range of information and assistance through the Carer Gateway (as well as services and support for carers via My Aged Care). As a carer, you have many things you need to manage every day. The Carer Gateway helps explore information to get practical tips and support to help you in your caring ole. The Carer Gateway website is all about meeting your needs as a carer. There is phone counselling, an online carer forum, and self-guided coaching and skills courses to give you support, skills and information.

Carer Gateway here

Carers Victoria, a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation, is the peak body representing all unpaid carers in Victoria, providing information, support and assistance in your caring role.

Find out more about Carers Victoria here

Rainbow Tick Accreditation

The Rainbow Tick is a quality framework that helps health and human services organisations show that they are safe, inclusive and affirming services and employers for the LGBTI community. The Rainbow Tick standards are designed to build lasting LGBTI inclusion.

Formal accreditation is provided through independent assessment, provided by Quality Innovation Performance and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. Service that have achieved Rainbow Tick accreditation have independently demonstrated they are LGBTI safe and inclusive. There is a number of aged care services (both community in-home based, and residential care facilities) that have achieved Rainbow Tick accreditation.

Information about Rainbow Tick accreditation and the list of services that are accredited is available here.

Older LGBTI people accessing care and support can ask a service about what they are doing to be LGBTI inclusive and whether they have the Rainbow Tick. (Also see the LGBTI Action Plan next for further support about accessing an inclusive provider).

LGBTI Action Plan for consumers

Aged care service providers are required to meet the needs of older LGBTI people. The LGBTI Action Plan for consumers is a government guide to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, and intersex (LGBTI) elders to express their needs when speaking with aged care providers. It can also help people working in aged care to better understand the needs of LGBTI consumers

Access the LGBTI Action Plan here or more information about diversity and inclusion requirements for aged care providers and consumers here

Your rights - privacy, confidentiality, and advocacy

All aged care services are required to provide safe and inclusive care to older LGBTI people and their carers. Services cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex variation.

All information provided to aged care services including My Aged Care and the navigator services is completely private and confidential. None of these services can disclose any information you provide to them without your consent.

Advocacy

To help you understand or exercise your rights contact OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network). They can put you in contact with your local/state advocacy program https://opan.org.au/