We affirm the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all older people in Australia, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse (LGBTI) people.
It is everybody’s business − across all aged care services throughout Australia − to ensure that the rights and freedoms of LGBTI older people are upheld. This requires inclusive and respectful aged care services and practices that embrace the enormous diversity of LGBTI older people’s backgrounds, life experiences and individual characteristics.
A culture of affirming diversity and respect for every individual is a bedrock for protecting human rights, including in the provision of aged care services.
LGBTI older people require aged care that respects each individual as a whole person. The Australian Government and the aged care sector have identified LGBTI older people as one of ten special needs groups. We recognise that many people belong to more than one of these groups. In addition, for some, emotional and spiritual supports are just as essential to ongoing wellbeing. And importantly, the richness and diversity of life experiences of LGBTI people means they are not bound by geographic location – many live and seek care in both rural and metropolitan Australia.
The Commonwealth’s Aged Care Diversity Framework and its accompanying Action Plans serve as practical guides for aged care providers. They assist in meeting Standard One of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Standards – Consumer Dignity and Choice. In addition to the LGBTI Action Plan, there are Action Plans for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people… and these Plans highlight the intersection some people may have across these populations.
Some providers also have robust diversity and inclusion plans of their own that address treating all people with dignity and respect.
Given all people are inherently relational the values affirmed in this Joint Statement extend to family members (chosen or biological), partners, carers and visitors of LGBTI aged care consumers.