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More research, partnerships and training for health and care professionals is needed to ensure LGBT people with dementia receive appropriate care, according to a new report by the government-backed strategic partner programme (SPP).
The report is the result of a three-year project developed to explore how care professionals can provide appropriate support for LGBT communities across the country and highlights the importance of the specific needs of LGBT people living with dementia.
Gill Boston, SPP manager, said: “The best social care takes people’s needs and meets these holistically. This must include a recognition of people’s sexuality or gender where it is appropriate to do so.
“With rising demand for dementia care, this report provides a call to action for all services to ensure that people are able to access the right person-centred support. Alongside this we need the workforce to be trained and developed by people from LGBT communities themselves.”
Drawing on three example case studies of best practice with LGBT people with dementia, the report suggests strategies for creating stronger dementia care for LGBT people.
According to the findings, there is a significant lack of LGBT-specific research in dementia and dedicated research involving LGBT people and their families is required, along with more robust training for healthcare professionals.
Inspiration for this can be taken from housing association Anchor, which runs a nationally acclaimed LGBT advisory group, open to all LGBT colleagues and residents, who advise Anchor on policies and assist them in writing staff guidance notes, including guidance on acceptable LGBT terms.
Partnership is also highly recommended after staff at a care home in Durham sought advice from community-led charity Gay Advice Darlington/Durham (GADD) on how best to support a transgender resident, leading to strategies and awareness training for staff.
Bob Green, chief executive for Stonewall Housing, part of the National LGB&T Partnership, said they were “delighted” to have been involved in the production of the final report.
He added: “Since going to print we have learned that GADD who are mentioned as a good practice example will be closing in April 2017.
“This reinforces the importance of service providers and commissioners to engage with LGB&T people and their support groups to provide specific services to ensure LGB&T people with dementia receive the best care and support.”
The report entitled ‘Foundations for the future: dementia care for LGBT communities’ can be read in full at: www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/documentLibraryDownload.asp?documentID=1608