GRAI to deliver LGBTI sensitivity training to aged care service providers in WA
Aged care providers in WA will soon have the opportunity to receive free one-day training to help them develop inclusive services that are safe and welcoming for LGBTI older adults.
This week, GRAI finalised an agreement with the National LGBTI Health Alliance to deliver LGBTI sensitivity training to the aged care sector in WA. The training will suit residential facilities, retirement villages, community care providers and services engaging with older members of the community.
This contract is part of a national project being coordinated by the Alliance, which has partnered with ACON (Aids Council of NSW) to develop and roll out the specially designed training package. This training is funded by the Commonwealth Government under their commitments to the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy.
GRAI’s Project Coordinator – Susan Harwood – will lead a team of trainers delivering 40+ training sessions over a 2 year period; these will be mostly in-house for service providers, but with a few open sessions as well.
Susan Harwood described the project’s immediate plans: “We will celebrate the launch of the project on 6 May, so ‘save the date’! Interested aged care providers can start booking for these free, 1-day training sessions, which will commence in June 2014″.
According to GRAI Chair, June Lowe, the opportunity to deliver training to aged care services is the culmination of many years of research and lobbying.
“GRAI’s research was instrumental in establishing the need for such training, as we found that many aged care providers were quite unaware that a proportion of their clients were LGBTI people, and had little or no idea as to what they should be doing to make them feel safe,” she said.
GRAI also played an important role in lobbying for law reform to ensure that aged care service providers are now legally required to pay attention to the needs of their LGBTI clients.
There are approximately 24,000 older LGBTI adults in WA, making this the largest recognised ‘special needs’ group who are potentially recipients of aged care services. However, till now LGBTI elders’ presence has been mostly hidden, with lack of positive recognition often causing great stress and reluctance to access services.
“We know that service providers are keen to learn not only how they can comply with their legal obligations, but also how they can best provide safe and inclusive services to their LGBTI clients,” Ms Lowe concluded.
“There is enormous goodwill in the aged care sector, and I am optimistic that together we can create an environment where older LGBTI adults can feel welcomed and enjoy a sense of belonging”.
For further information on training, contact Project Coordinator, Susan Harwood: firstname.lastname@example.org
For media comment, GRAI Chair, June Lowe on: 9383 7753 | 0435 517 753.