A specialist blog by Right at Home Central London
Right at Home offer high quality person-centred homecare to adults globally and across the UK. In Central London, we have a diverse client base and as such organise specialist training for our team to accurately tailor our support for different communities and backgrounds. One of our specialist areas is care for the LGBT+ community.
We believe we are setting an example to other care companies across the UK and strongly advocate that caregivers need to be fully educated in LGBT+ history, demographics and issues to truly offer personal care to this community.
Key Issues Facing Older LGBT+ Individuals:
Older LGBT+ people didn’t grow up in an age where same sex marriage was legal and were not afforded the opportunity to have their own children. They can therefore often feel isolated so call upon our businesses for companionship. Far too many have faced homophobic physical and verbal abuse in the past and need caregivers who can empathise and offer a safe environment. Something simple like referring to a person by their chosen gender identity can make a huge difference in their care.
Loneliness and abuse also means that many older LGBT + people have battled substance abuse and our friendship can help aid their recovery by giving them new outlooks and activities.
Our befriending service ranges from something as straightforward as meeting for a coffee, all the way to accompanying clients on holiday. We suggest activities based on the client’s interests and champion that age should never be a barrier that stops you doing what you enjoy.
Dementia Care for LGBT+ clients:
As with any care business, we often support clients living with dementia. This disease impacts their short-term memory and for LGBT+ clients it can mean they regress back to a less tolerant time when being homosexual was illegal or not openly discussed.
Keeping loved-ones who are living with dementia in their own home has been proven to slow the decline of symptoms since it’s a familiar environment. We aim to maximise our clients’ independence and include them in all the daily tasks. Not only does this keep them busy but also helps to build a strong bond with their support worker.
This bond is particularly important for clients living with dementia as they may not remember ‘coming out’ (a significant moment in any LGBT+ person’s life) and need to feel their in an environment where it is safe and comfortable to ‘come out’ again whenever they desire.
Living with HIV:
Our team has received specialist HIV training from leading charity Positive UK. We are all educated on topics such as HIV prevention, treatment, prognosis and the key fact that once someone’s HIV level in the blood count becomes ‘undetectable’, the virus cannot be transmitted. Individuals living with HIV now have a normal life expectancy. Gone are the days where HIV was misconceived by too many as a gay disease, where positive individuals lived with the fear of stigma in a care setting, and caregivers felt they were at risk of infection by providing care.
Pride in Care Approval:
Right at Home Central London is currently working towards the ‘Pride in Care’ kite mark approval award from LGBT+ charity Opening Doors London, and expect this to be awarded in Summer 2019. It’s been a 12-month program that has fully educated our team on LGBT+ history, issues and tolerance.
Happy Pride month to all our staff and clients from everyone at Right at Home Central London
This was originally featured in the bfa’s online monthly newsletter Franchise Business Insights (FBI). If you would like to hear more from bfa members on key industry trends, expert advice and thought leadership pieces, then sign up here.
For more information please visit:
- www.rightathome.london, or
- www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk / www.positivelyuk.org