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LGBT Dementia

“The late Komla Dumor said “Until the lion knows how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.””
Here is a write up of another diversealz chat, this was about LGBT people and dementia and looking at the needs, issues and support. Unfortunately I missed it, so this write up will be the first time I read it. My thoughts I have added at the end in bold italics. Everything else is pretty unmodified anonymous comments from the chat.
One of the first comments that came up was the lack of research in this area. It was brought to attention that these issues have not been on the mainstream research agenda. However we were also informed research for populations including the LGBT community is one of the goals of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
How important is it to highlight LGBT issues within dementia?
– seems v important as sexuality important part of someone’s identity.
– something 2be maintained for lgbt with dementia.
– History and life experiences very important.
– Reflecting choices on where we wish to live.
– Identity becomes a key issue as does sexuality especially when accessing services.
What are the issues for those with LGBT with regards to dementia?
– LGBT patients more likely to be single, live alone & not have children
– can be reluctant to seek out social support.
– key issue is that ppl with dementia less able to judge when & with whom to be open. Cd increase vulnerability.
– Gay communities usually youth orientated, pubs and clubs, as we get older we are less likely to visit “gay spaces”.
–  Of course, one of the big issues with LGBT and dementia will be in care homes. Do they have knowledge to care appropriately?
How can these change?
– Services that stay person-centred.
– Training for staff so not afraid to enquiry about sexuality, so it doesn’t remain hidden.
– Confidence and trust in health professionals are cited in several reports.
– Putting self in others shoes. However because we are all different can only assume. Could be pity when action is needed
– dignity should be at the heart of this topic.
– All need to be treated accordingly and with respect.
– Good organisations do equalities training and make sure staff reflect diversity of communities they serve
– inclusive messages, same sex posters etc needed to display in care settings.
– To continually show diverse sexuality welcomed.
– Awareness important as is breaking down stigmas to give people opportunity to find appropriate help and care.
Are LGBT ppl living with dementia and carers a “special” (not my word) group?
– Lgbt have special issues, like any minority group.
– Language is also important in the debate and wonder if “special” is appropriate word to use?
– I’m special 😉 As language is focused around hetero norms yes, we need to think how we communicate and include all.
– People are people.
How difficult is it for #LGBT people to tell their stories?
– Homophobia is still prevalent.
– people may feel they have to not disclose.
– Transgender people still have prejudice against them.
– I have no children, if I don’t write it down now, who will pass on my life history when the time comes?Jeans not floral dresses.
why is it such a big deal? people think others are brave for coming out, but not so for straight people declaring they are hetero. Not a problem for me, or nan. But due to historical stigma etc older people more likely to be wary of LGBT carers. Or older LGBT people more reluctant to share their orientation. Agree we still have a long way to go, as with so many things, but think it does not help that society put so much praise on celebrities etc when they “come out”, as it makes it seem less “normal”, makes them stand out. This cannot be helpful for LGBT communities who want to integrate “normally” within wider communities.
Additional information can be found at:
http://details.co.nf/?p=4  – Research project, recruiting LGB people with dementia

The Whole of Me by @sallyknocker pub @ageuk: http://bit.ly/1n1KNaq 


   @sallyknocker inspiring. See Perspectives on aging: http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/ageing-lesbians-bisexuals-gay-men-summary.pdf

@AoAgov & @ACLgov hosted a webinar to discuss progress and needs last summer. Materials are posted here http://1.usa.gov/1eAG8b1 

Useful materials via @alzfdn based on webinar: http://1.usa.gov/1eAG8b1 

http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=1100 … Alzheimers society page supporting LGBT people living with dementia.

One example from Gscene Brighton http://gscene.com/news/dementia-cafe-open-day-in-hove-2/ … #Diversealz clearly taken seriously amongst LGBT community




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