Experiences and perceptions of residential and home care services among older lesbian women and gay men in Australia
Waling, A, Lyons, A, Alba, B, Minichiello, V, Barrett, C, Hughes, M, Fredriksen-Goldsen, K & Edmonds, S 2019, 'Experiences and perceptions of residential and home care services among older lesbian women and gay men in Australia', Health and Social Care in the Community.
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The needs of older lesbian and gay people regarding access and use of aged-care services remain underresearched. This paper reports the findings of 33 qualitative interviews with older lesbian women and gay men about their perceptions and experiences of residential aged-care and home-based aged-care services in Australia. The focus of this paper is their preparedness for using aged-care services. The results highlight that participants had a number of concerns related to accessing residential-care services in particular, including perceptions of a lack of inclusivity and concerns of potential for discrimination and hostility, loss of access to community and partners, decreased autonomy and concerns relating to quality of care and the potential for elder abuse. Participants noted a number of strategies they employed in avoiding residential-care services, including the use of home-care services, renovating the home for increased mobility, moving to locations with greater access to outside home-care services, a preference for lesbian/gay-specific housing and residential-care options if available, and the option of voluntary euthanasia to ensure dignity and autonomy. Participants, on the whole, were hopeful that they would never require the use of residential-care services, with some believing that having current good health or the support of friends could prevent this from happening. The findings suggest that older lesbian and gay people have a variety of concerns with aged-care and may need additional support and education to improve their perceptions and experiences of services, whether these are needed presently or in the future.