OPAN seminar, SURF Room, Swansea University

18th September 2013, 12.30-2pm

(Tea/Coffee & cakes provided on arrival)

How are the sexual identities and relationships of older lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) residents perceived and supported in residential care environments in Wales?  A study to promote anti-discriminatory residential services to older LGB people.

Dr Paul Willis  (Senior Lecturer, Social Work)
Dr Penny Miles (Associate Researcher)
Dr Tracey Maegusuku-Hewett (Senior Lecturer, Social Work)

Sexuality and sexual health are an integral aspect of health and wellbeing throughout the life course. However, older people are often assumed to be asexual (Bauer et al, 2009), and for older people within residential care environments, the priority of care needs can overshadow their sexual health needs. Too frequently older people are also presumed to be heterosexual, neglecting social differences in sexual orientation. Consequently, older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people can experience dual discrimination through the heterosexist assumptions of care providers and through ageist beliefs circulating in LGB communities (Clarke et al, 2010). Heterosexism in residential care provision can mask the sexual diversity and desires of older residents. Funded by NISCHR (Welsh Government), this research examined current provision of services to older LGB people in residential and nursing environments in Wales. The research was guided by the question: ‘How are the sexual identities and relationships of older LGB residents perceived and supported in residential care environments in Wales?’ The research design followed a mixed methods approach, including self-administered questionnaires and a content analysis of CSSIW Inspectorate reports.

In this presentation, we report on and discuss qualitative and quantitative findings, which include perspectives from care and nursing staff and older LGB community members reflecting on ‘care anticipated’.
Implications for increasing care providers’ understanding and knowledge of LGB identities, sexuality and ageing in care environments will be discussed.

To book your place at this seminar, please email Carol Maddock on c.a.maddock@swansea.ac.uk

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