Safe Ageing No Discrimination

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2014 National LGBT Conference
31 July 2014

Most people, not just lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, are reluctant to talk about ageing and dying. Many do not make adequate plans. LGBT elders may face extra barriers because of perceived or actual heterosexism from their contemporaries and from the services upon which they rely. Ageing Trans people have voiced concerns about the discontinuation of hormone therapies particularly in residential care environments.

All our lives we have challenged heterosexism. Doing so has made us strong but it becomes harder when we are isolated or vulnerable. In old age we need to act collectively to achieve what we cannot achieve on our own just as we did at work.

Conference commends the work of AgeUK and others to overcome the isolation of LGBT elders and research, like The Last Outing project which has explored end of life experiences and care needs of LGBT old people. But charities and universities act within their own limitations.

Conference therefore welcomes the launch of SAND (Safe Ageing, No Discrimination) which LGBT people in Shropshire have formed to raise community awareness and help local authorities, care providers and carers to address the fears and discrimination that may be experienced by lgbt old people and carers by overcoming prejudice in care, stopping negativity, protecting those who are vulnerable and encouraging openness about specific LGBT needs.

Conference instructs the national LGBT committee to:

1. Publicise this initiative and to seek other ways UNISON can support it; and,

2. Approach relevant UNISONplus partners to see what can be done to promote take up services (such as will-making and funeral planning) by older LGBT members.