Adopting best practices to create an inclusive assessment service for lesbian, gay, transgender & intersex older people

Donna Bainbridge1

1S.A Health, Adelaide, Australia

Older Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people experience different health outcomes, consequences stemming from pervasive discrimination and unconscious prejudice. The growing numbers of LGBTI people seeking aged care services represents a complex, emerging, challenging and urgent area for health services to address.  This presentation addresses how the South Australian Northern Aged Care Assessment and Aged Care Placement Teams are addressing the absence of trained diversity sensitive workers within health services and how addressing this gap will improve outcomes for older LGBTI people.

The project measures staff understanding and knowledge of legal responsibilities, current knowledge and beliefs. Staff will undertake regular measures of knowledge using a tool developed during this project. Training delivery includes cultural and historical backgrounds, use of language that is aligned to a person’s identity, and how LGBTI sensitive practices and policies and procedures support staff to recognise and meet the unique needs of minority groups including LGBTIQ people.

Method : Improve staff knowledge and skills to improve service access through improved support of LGBTI aged care consumers. To demonstrate that a program of education support, key workers and stake holder engagement contributes to the development of skills to better recognise and promote best practice for LGBTI people.  Additionally, an increased awareness across the organisation has been measured through requests to undertake training and participate in other initiatives arising from this program.

Outcome : Staff education, stakeholder support results in an increased awareness and measurement of stakeholder outcomes is ongoing.  Organisation interest is high and is measured through requests to undertake training and participate in other initiatives arising from this program. Additionally, the teams have had contact with international partners and peak bodies who are providing support and mentoring.


As a Social Worker across both the Modbury & Lyell McEwin Hospitals In South Australia and throughout my diverse career working in Commonwealth Aged Care Packages, Residential Aged Care and the present. I have acquired a sound knowledge base and experience to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients and families transitioning to residential aged care. During this period working with two patients and their partners who identify with the LGBTI community, has provided me with the insight to the barriers, discrimination, and prejudices of the aged care system. Story telling has been a unique tool for gaining power for this project.

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