SCU Buzz Develops Rainbow-Inclusive Aged Care Model

Southern Cross University

Ensuring inclusive care for gender and sexually diverse people in residential aged care is the driving force behind a new research project led by Southern Cross University's Professor Mark Hughes. Speaking on SCU Buzz podcast, Professor Hughes said the project aims to transform residential aged care.

Co-creating rainbow-inclusive care for gender and sexually diverse people in residential aged care is the first study of its kind in Australia. The five-year project is funded by the Australian government through a $999,533 Medical Research Future Fund's Models of Care for Sexuality and Gender Diverse People and People with Innate Variations of Sex Characteristics Grant.

"The first phase of the project is really trying to understand what enables and what constrains inclusive care for LGBTQ+ people in residential aged care," said Professor Hughes.

"The second phase involves co-creating with LGBTQ+ people and residential aged care workers a rainbow-inclusive model of care, and with that model of care we will be developing resources, guidelines and supports for implementation."

"There has been a real lack of research on LGBTQ+ peoples' experience of residential aged care. The concern is that some people hide their identity and background because of the fear of discrimination in these settings. We also find that a lot of residential aged care providers don't initiate conversations or provide the supports for people to be able to be open about their backgrounds, relationships and histories.

"A lack of resourcing is a major barrier to developing training and support for staff. The aged care workforce is also highly casualised."

The project is in collaboration with four other major Australian universities, residential aged care providers, peak aged care and LGBTQ+ organisations, and the LGBTQ+ community.

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