Hughes, M 2008, 'Information placed in trust: older gay men and social workers on talking about sexual identity in aged care', Geriaction, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 15-20.
This article is reproduced here with the kind permission of Geriaction.
As more men who openly identify as gay approach older age, it is important for health and aged care professionals to consider the appropriateness of talking with these men about their sexual identity. This paper reports findings from a pilot study that examined how sexual identity should be acknowledged in aged care practice. The paper draws on qualitative data from two focus groups; one with older gay men and one with social workers. An analysis of the themes that overlapped the two groups highlighted the extent to which participants thought sexual identity should be discussed openly, the value placed on skilled interviewing, and the impact of privacy and a sense of trust on talking about sexual identity. For both groups there was a recognition that aged care professionals need to provide opportunities for older gay men to talk honestly and openly about their sexual identity.