The Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia (GALFA) recently announced a new round of funding for helping LGBTI-inclusive care in Adelaide, SA and the whole country. The funding will work as part of the Sidney Myer Fund and is intended for projects that support the healthy wellbeing of older LGBTI people in Australia.
Previous problems that hindered LGBTI seniors to fully access and enjoy Adelaide aged care services should be the main focus of any funded projects. According to GALFA director and treasurer Ian Gould, there are many LGBTI seniors who grew up in an era where homosexuality was considered taboo. Theirs has been a constant battle to achieve community acceptance and the problem can persist as they enter residential aged care. This also leads them not to disclose their gender identity for fear of rejection and discrimination.
Mr Gould pointed out that aged care providers should have an environment that welcomes and embraces ageing LGBTI people. They should have access to the same services as everyone else, without making them feel rejected or unwanted. Providers need to be comfortable that gay and lesbian couples exist and will enter their establishments.
Valued at up to $15,000, the fund is part of the Sidney Myer Fund’s Poverty and Disadvantage Small Grants Program. The grant is now on its third round and is focused on strategies and programs that address the emotional and physical nurturing of LGBTI seniors.
Applications from all areas of health and aged care are encouraged and most are welcomed. The grant is not solely intended for LGBTI-focused groups. According to Mr Gould, mainstream aged care providers could have some ‘equally good or better ideas’ that are worth exploring.
Helping Hand’s “Turn Up Your Voice” is the first funding recipient
The first recipient of the funding was Helping Hand for their program Turn Up Your Voice. The program seeks to provide a sheltered and encouraging environment for LGBTI consumers that want to access aged care. They work with experts in the field to find ways to effectively deliver proper aged care to older LGBTI people.
Turn Up Your Voice is intended for LGBTI people who may have felt rejected and discriminated in some way. The program is part of a broader plan to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation for Helping Hand. Rainbow Tick accreditation is a set of national standards developed by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance’s Virtual Visitors
The second project funded by GALFA and the Sydney Myer Fund was the Virtual Visitors by The National LGBTI Health Alliance. Virtual Visitors is an online platform that allows building of networks in support of LGBTI seniors. This is intended for older LGBTI people who might feel isolated. One of the main causes of mental health issues is depression, which this program seeks to minimise.
How to apply for a grant?
Applications for the third round of funding are available until August 24. Forms and details can be accessed through GALFA’s website.