DEMENTIA advocate Anne Tudor says there needs to be greater awareness when it comes to people of varying sexuality who are living with the disease.
Ms Tudor and partner Edie Mayhew have been working with Dementia Australia to better pool and promote resources to support people with dementia who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
For many, particularly older LGBTI Australians, Ms Tudor said was experience of discrimination and rejection in health care and the wider community.
“People from the LGBTI community want to be able to trust they will be treated respectfully and equally in care and services,” Ms Tudor said.
Older LGBTI people may not have a lot of confidence in the system, particularly those going into aged care. They may not be likely to admit their sexuality because they may have felt to hide it for so long.Anne Tudor
“There’s a lot more transgender people going into care now too and there needs to be available educational tools for their needs as well.”
Ms Mayhew was diagnosed with early on-set dementia about eight years ago, aged 59.
- READ MORE: The Ballarat dog taking the lead on dementia
Together than have become strong champions in the Ballarat community, nationally and overseas for dementia awareness. They are familiar with the resources and support services available but Ms Tudor said many were not.
Resources for LGBTI people living with dementia had traditionally been difficult to access.
Ms Tudor said a tremendous amount of work had been done over a long period of time to change this for the LGBTI community, their family, carers and friends.
The resource tools also aim to raise awareness among service providers of issue that might arise among LGBTI patients and clients.
Ms Tudor and Ms Mayhew’s work with Celebrate Ageing, films from their journey with dementia in Ballarat, also feature in the resources.
Dementia Australia chief executive officer Maree McCabe said it was a privilege to work with the Ballarat couple in the ongoing process to help LGBTI people living with dementia, who face unique challenges, to access credible information.
For more details: dementia.org/resources/LGBTI or contact the national dementia helpline on 1800 100 500.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE