A new research has shown that many older gay men are worried that their sexuality may cause problems if they want to move into an aged care facility.
These men fear that they will be ostracised by homophobic residents and their families, as well as care workers and management at the facility.
The Swinburne University study, led by Dr Peter Robinson, was based on interviews with 25 men. aged 60 and older, in Melbourne, Auckland, London, Manchester and New York.
Though 25 people is a small sample to draw conclusions from, the finding of the research aligns with previous studies have shown – that many older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have concerns about aged care.
Dr Robinson says a lot of the men from the research were embracing their sexuality in a time of oppression, “there’s both resilience and vulnerability because of the era of when these men came out”.
Many older LGBTI people worry they will have to “re-enter the closet” if they want or need to into aged care.
Jillian Slade, a placement agent with 20 years experience in aged care, says that she’s worked with many people from the LGBTI community and helped them find facilities suitable for them.
But even in today’s society, there is still some challenges that are faced, “I think even though a lot of people say they’re liberal minded and accepting, there’s still pockets of people who aren’t and it can still be difficult,” she says.
Lifeview Residential Care is building an innovative LGBTI and friend’s aged care living and retirement home in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Prahran.
The site cornering Greville and Charles Streets in Prahran is likely to start construction in the later half of 2017.