Post-print of: Hughes, M 2007, 'Older lesbians and gays accessing health and aged-care services', Australian Social Work, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 197-209.
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The present paper examines older lesbian and gay people's experiences of and expectations for the delivery of health and aged-care services. In-depth narrative interviews were conducted with older gays and lesbians in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney (NSW, Australia). Data were analysed by identifying evaluative statements within specific narratives and grouping these statements into themes. Participants reflected on the meaning of their sexual identity and how they would like it to be acknowledged when in contact with health and aged-care service providers. In addition to direct discrimination, participants reported a more indirect form of discrimination in providers' assumption of heterosexuality among clients and their failure to provide lesbian- or gay friendly services. The findings highlight the need for health and aged-care services to better understand and acknowledge older gay and lesbian people's sexual identities to enable improved access to services in the future.