Meridian celebrates the extraordinary diversity of people’s bodies, genders, sexualities and their relationships.
At Meridian we acknowledge the elders of the LGBTIQ+ community for their resilience and determined struggle for social justice and human rights that has improved the lives for all Australians.
While many LGBTIQ+ older people lead healthy and fulfilling lives; there are others who are dealing with the historical legacy of past systemic marginalisation and stigmatisation.
Many older members of the LGBTIQ+ community have experienced judgement, prejudice and discrimination during their lives. A result of their lived experience older LGBTIQ+ people can be reluctant to reveal their sexuality or gender identity. Some older LGBTIQ+ community members choose to remain in, or return to the closet to feel safe. This can be particularly true when accessing aged care services.
Unfortunately we know that LGBTIQ+ older people have disproportionately negative mental health outcomes in comparison with the rest of the population.
Meridian is working to improve access and equity for LGBTIQ+ elders to aged care services and supporting their wellbeing by:
- advocating for government to provide health services and policies that meet the needs of older LGBTIQ people
- encouraging inclusive practice service delivery that not only respects diversity but embraces it
- delivering LGBTIQ awareness training to health providers, so elders feel culturally safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment
- establishing an evidence base to document the needs of LGBTIQ older people and the difficulties they face in accessing appropriate services,
- providing professional counselling when dealing with mental health issues,
- hosting LGBTIQ community social groups to help reduce social isolation for older people.
Meridian is committed to supporting the elders of our community to live the life they choose and to ensure they have a respectful and dignified old age.
Westlund Counselling https://www.westlund.org.au/
National LGBTI Health Alliance https://lgbtihealth.org.au/
Aged Care Quality Standards https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/providers/standards
Aged Care Quality Standards Consumer Outcomes poster https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/sites/default/files/media/acqsc_quality_standards-consumer-outcomes-a2-poster_new_0.pdf
Choosing an aged service that is LGBTIQ inclusive https://lgbtihealth.org.au/resources/factsheet-choosing-lgbti-inclusive-ageing-aged-care-service/
Developing an LGBTIQ-Inclusive Practice Policy https://lgbtihealth.org.au/resources/factsheet-developing-lgbti-inclusive-practice-policy/
Dementia Australia LGBTIQ Resources https://www.dementia.org.au/resources/LGBTI
Older Persons ACT Legal Service (OPALS) https://www.legalaidact.org.au/opals