The increasing visibility of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people in health and social care alongside substantial achievements in legislative and human rights have surpassed the ability of care services to meet their needs. Research has documented a range of concerns about the accessibility, inclusiveness and safety of care services for the LGBT population, particularly within long-term settings such as residential care. This requires systemic change which is difficult to operationalise. This paper reports on an action research initiative where six care homes of a national care provider collaborated to assess and develop their services with the support of local LGBT volunteer ‘Community Advisors’ and academic partners. A programme of activities aimed to address issues of LGBT inclusivity by tackling seven key areas within the organisation. We report on the findings of an independent external evaluation based on qualitative interviews with those involved pre- and post-intervention. Findings are presented across three key themes 1) starting points on the journey; 2) challenges encountered along the journey (organisational, structural and interpersonal); and, 3) making change happen: opportunities, initiatives and gains. Recommendations are made on the value of this programme approach to improving inclusivity for LGBT older people living in care settings.
Hafford-Letchfield, T., Simpson, P., Willis, P., & Almack, K. (2017). Developing inclusive residential care for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people: An evaluation of the Care Home Challenge action research project. Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12521