Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and Dementia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people live with dementia too. They, their partners, carers, family and friends may face many more challenges. For example, older LGBT people may feel out of place in traditional support groups. They may be anxious about accessing services due to fears of homophobia or of not having their specific needs met. They may have experienced a lifetime of rejection, stigma, discrimination and abuse, not only from the community at large, but perhaps from their own families and from legal, medical and health care systems. This can lead to a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. Estimates suggest 5 to 7% of the Scottish population are LGBT, yet they are an invisible population and as such can find accessing services more difficult.

LGBT Age is a project run by LGBT Health and Wellbeing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people aged 50 and over. Their Befriending Service offers free, supportive, regular social contact with a trained volunteer.

They deliver monthly social events covering Greater Glasgow and Edinburgh specifically for LGBT people over 50, offering the chance to meet up with your peers and expand your social networks. The programme is put together with input and suggestions from older LGBT people. Their quarterly information sessions are special presentations delivered by speakers with expertise on key age-related issues with a particular LGBT focus. These community gatherings are a chance to learn more and ask questions. LGBT Age also work with professionals and organisations to support them in providing inclusive services for older LGBT people and have produced a range of Resources.

Age UK has produced a guide providing advice for people who identify as LGBT on some of the issues related to planning for later life. Many of the issues related to Planning for Later Life are very similar whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, but some matters may need special consideration. The legal context has changed in relation to gay and transgender people, mainly in a very helpful way, but the assumptions or prejudices of others can still cause some difficulties.

Further Information

Dementia Doesn’t Discriminate – The Equality Partnership has produced information for LGBT people and their friends, partners and families.

Supporting Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People with Dementia – Is a factsheet from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Moving into a Care Home – Advice for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People – Has specific information on choosing a care home from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Alzheimer’s Australia also has a number of resources on the specific issues transgender and intersex people can face.  It has also produced Training Videos and Pamphlets.