One of the reactions we got the most often when sharing about the BestCare4LGBTQI+ project is:
“Why should we make a difference when it comes to LGBTQI folks? As long as we are tolerant, there is no need for them to be cared for specifically, compared to non-LGBTQI residents.”
Except there is a specific need that we have to address. All along their lives, LGBTQI+ people encounter medical and social difficulties that are directly related to their LGBTQI+ condition. Especially in a context when, decades ago, being LGBTQI+ was not as tolerated as it is now – even though huge progress is still to achieve.
Consider a person who’s afflicted by diabetes. You would not think about this argument, because it appears logical that each specific situation requires specific solutions and, in this case – care. You would not think that you are offering a privileged care to this person with diabetes. It goes the same for LGBTQI+ people – except they are not afflicted by a disease. But they experience they had during their lives shaped their mental and physical health.
“All older people should be treated with the same goodwill and professionalism.”
That goes without saying, all older people should be treated the same way. But how can we expect them to be treated equally if we don’t understand them and their experiences? For instance, how can we expect to seize the possible health hazards encountered by a senior transitioning and taking hormones? How can we evaluate properly the risks incurred by an intersex elder if we do not understand what intersexuation is?
If you are wondering what are these issues, we encourage you to check the BestCare4LGBTQI+ board which summarizes all the issues of LGBTQI+ elders in terms of access to access to healthcare, access to end-of-life care, mental health, social isolation and experience of violence.
Article written by Afeji