The Dementia Challenge for LGBT Communities
Dementia is at the top of the national agenda, as reflected in the National Dementia Strategy; by 2025, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, there will be an estimated 1 million people with dementia in the UK. However, there is no specific reference to LGB&T issues in the National Dementia Strategy, despite the fact that LGB&T communities may also have other protected characteristics that demand distinct social care support.
Such concerns were the focus of a roundtable held in late 2014 by the National LGBT Partnership with the National Care Forum, Sue Ryder and the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group. The aim was to consider the needs of LGB&T people with dementia and how the social care workforce could provide more appropriate support. This paper is based on that roundtable discussion.
Dementia Care and LGBT Communities: A good practice paper
The UK is home to an estimated 1.2 million older lesbian and gay people in the UK, yet they are an invisible population and rarely acknowledged by service providers and commissioners.
This issue was summarised by the Social Care Institute for Excellence briefing, Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, which describes how “commissioners and providers don’t often think about LGBT people when planning and delivering services, but this does not mean that LGBT people are not using services or do not want to use services.”
Such concerns provide the backdrop to this short case study-based report, which is the second piece of work from our partnership that explores specific support for LGBT people with dementia.
Dementia, Equity and Rights
Anyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, ability, or socio-economic background can develop dementia; however some groups have higher prevalence rates and experience greater disparities in the care they receive and the support that is provided to carers.
This publication seeks to highlight the main issues arising for people with dementia and carers from the following population groups: the oldest old, young onset, people with disabilities, black and minority ethnic people (BME), women, LGB&T people, and different socio-economic populations. It considers the prevalence of dementia within each group and the needs and experiences of people living with dementia and carers within each protected characteristic group. It also provides information, recommendations and resources for commissioners, service providers, service users and their carers to ensure that the best possible care and support to people living with dementia and their carers is expected and delivered.