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Creating inclusive spaces for older LGBTQI people

February 15, 2019  · 2 min read

Diversity in the ageing population is often overlooked, which proves especially problematic because of the profound impacts it has on the wellbeing of older people. Globally, LGBTQI communities are particularly at risk of experiencing worse health outcomes as they age. Additionally, due to a lifetime of experiencing forms of oppression including homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia and sexism, individuals may be less likely to access support at non-LGBTQI health service providers, meal programs, and other types of social support programs for fear of discrimination and harassment.

An article published by the CBC highlighted the issues experienced by older LGBTQI people when accessing housing. Current and potential residents of long-term care homes worry that inclusive and safe housing is impossible to find, and that rules and regulations make it difficult for individuals to be ‘out’ while in care.  IFA Expert Professor Marie Beaulieu can be contacted if interested in learning more about long-term care and the unique needs of older people.

The research group Habitus Consulting Collective is working with Mount Royal University to disseminate a survey to better understand the housing landscape for ageing LGBTQI communities in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. However, this issue is not unique to Canada. Globally, ageing and LGBTQI organizations have been working towards creating spaces for older people that are both inclusive and welcoming of diversity. One of the IFA’s partners, SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders) has made enormous strides for equality through their National LGBT Housing Initiative.

To ensure that the diverse needs of older people are protected and respected internationally, the IFA, as well as partners SAGE and Egale Canada, have come together to launch the Older LGBTQI People Call to Action, asking individuals and organizations to pledge and support the rights of ageing LGBTQI communities. Contact Dr Jane Barratt, Secretary General, to learn more about the work of the IFA in addressing inequalities.

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