Government Releases First LGBT Ageing Strategy

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler has announced that the Australian Government has drawn up plans for its first ever GLBT seniors strategy.

The plan, which will serve as the first national health strategy for the rainbow community, has been commended by LGBT health advocates in NSW.  Leading GLBT health organisation ACON supports the plan, stating its implementation will improve the health of LGBT seniors.

With around 70,000 GLBT people over the age of 55 living in NSW alone, research indicates that many older members of the LGBT community live in fear of discrimination.

‘Either from other residents or from aged care service providers… Given the history of some religious organisations’ statements on homosexuality, GLBT seniors are understandably anxious about how they will be treated’, said Geoff Honnor, the acting CEO for ACON.

‘Along with a range of other stakeholders, we have been advocating for many years for a national strategy that delivers for GLBT seniors the same rights to privacy, dignity and culturally appropriate services as all other Australians and we congratulate the Government and Minister Butler on committing to this important initiative.

‘We now look forward to working with the Government and our partners in the aged care sector to develop this ground breaking plan.’

Jude Comfort, Chair of the WA Gay Retirement Association Inc, has applauded Minister Mark Butler for his announcement – ‘Other minority groups have strategies that address the ageing issue, we’re one of the hidden populations’, she said.

If you wish to be kept informed on the developments of this strategy, or register your interest, contact [email protected]

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