In Home Aged Care for Sydney LGBTI Community

LGBTI is the acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex and when it comes to the aged care needs of Sydney’s LGBTI Elders, research has found that LGBTI Elders and seniors don’t feel comfortable accessing the services that help them stay at home. These are mainly in home care or extra assistance for personal care, but they feel even less comfortable moving into a Nursing Home. This is generally due to the fear of discrimination by some Current Approved Providers of inhome care services and residential aged care.

Their concern is perfectly understandable, after all it’s not that many years ago that many faith-based not-for-profits didn’t even allow LGBTI Elders to enter their Nursing Homes. However as the Government funding is provided by Australian tax payers, the Government amended the Aged Care Act 1997 to make it illegal to discriminate against LGBTI Elders and seniors.

And it’s good to know the Government went even further in recent years by adding LGBTI Elders to the special needs group defined in the Aged Care Act 1997.

Daughterly Care elder care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex

Like their straight peers, most LGBTI Seniors prefer to stay living joyfully in their own home for all their days. When LGBTI Seniors have in home care they have the added concern of having strangers come into their private home – their sanctuary from a sometimes less than accepting world. Not to mention, finding out their LGBTI status and safety concerns surrounding that. The preference for LGBTI Elders to stay in their own home with the support of in home community aged care makes sense. In Home Care enables LGBTI Elders to remain in charge of their life and continue living their way, as opposed to being placed in an institutional environment like a Nursing Home where they may not feel comfortable to be their authentic or true selves. Daughterly Care Community Services makes staying at home safe, easy and joyful because we value premium quality aged care for all elders.

The good news is that the Federal Government understands the unique lived experience of LGBTI Elders;

  • commonly rejected by their family, friends, society, religious institutions and employers in times gone past when people were not educated about the normal variation of sexual desire within populations; and
  • the systematic financial, legal, tax and superannuation discrimination that financially disadvantaged LGBTI Elders for most of their life.

So in recent years the Government added LGBTI Elders to the Special Needs Groups as defined under the Aged Care Act 1997 who receive priority access to essential health care services like Government Subsidised In Home Care which can be worth up to $55,315.75 a year, per person.

Joan and Elizabeth receive $55,315.75 a year per person in Home Care Packages for their aged care.

LGBTI elder home care package Sydney

Under the Aged Care Act 1997, Elders and seniors with special needs who identify with or belong to one or more of the following groups receive priority access to Government Subsidised In Home Care:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
  • non-English speaking (culturally and linguistically diverse [CALD]) backgrounds;
  • live in rural or remote areas;
  • who are financially or socially disadvantaged;
  • who are veterans including the spouse, widow or widower of a veteran;
  • homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal;
  • from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community.

Management of waiting lists and prioritisation for LGBTI Elders

All Approved Providers are expected to have policies and practices in place to ensure in home care services are accessible to anyone with special needs. Aged care home nursing providers need to be considerate about consumer diversity, taking into account consumers’ individual interests, customs, beliefs and backgrounds. Elders on a waiting list do not necessarily access a Home Care Package purely on a “first come, first served” basis, though notice is taken as to how long an Elder has been waiting for their Home Care Package.

The old don’t say, don’t ask game!

One problem is LGBTI Elders and Seniors don’t KNOW that they are priority listed for Government subsidised in home care unless they are told and you can’t tell them unless you ask them. Daughterly Care Community Services’ approach is, we directly ask new elderly clients who do not have Government funding if they belong to any of the 9 special needs group categories because we want to help them get priority access if they are entitled to it.

So the tip is – don’t expect ACAT to identify you as belonging to a Special Needs Group and give you priority access, you have to advocate for yourself.

Don’t Straighten Up for Us

Some LGBTI Elders feel they have to “straighten up” their home if they have a Hourly Caregiver or Live-in Carers visiting. Don’t straighten up for us.  Daughterly Care Caregivers enjoy people as they are. Our role is to support, enable and care for you. We want you to be completely yourself. We are a helpful guest in your home and you don’t need to change for us.

Equally, just because you disclose your LGBTI status during the ACAT Assessment for Government Funded Package which can be worth up to $55,315.75 pa  – it’s just a tick on a form and it does not need to be included in your Care Plan. If you come from the era where you feel most comfortable not disclosing this then let’s not put it in your Care Plan. That way, the Hourly Caregivers or Live in Carers will not know unless you tell them when and if you feel comfortable doing so.

Do not avoid applying for a Government Funded Package for fear that having a Caregiver or Care Worker in your home will be a worrying experience. Daughterly Care Caregivers and Carers are the best home care support care workers. Remember your Government Funded Home Care Package can help you pay for care at home so you avoid the Nursing Home. Why not book a one-on-one session with Robin Bower, our Mosman Aged Care Advice Manager? She will explain how a Home Care Package could assist you. Email Robin Bower now.

mosman Sydney's North Shore aged care advice

 

Government includes Lesbian Couple in their ‘5 Steps to A Home Care Package’ Booklet

You can see the Government has been inclusive of the LGBTI Elderly community by including photos of a Lesbian couple on page 2 and 29. They look too healthy to need care for themselves (don’t you love the way marketing for Elders is aimed at 1 or 2 generations younger?). Perhaps they are organising the in home care for one of their elderly parents? The original and suggested meaning of Daughterly Care, so to speak!! We have provided private elder care for many Elders whose adult children are gay and they appreciate our respectful inclusive ways.

aged care LGBTI home care East Sydney
Aged Care Booklet

Case Study

priority elder home care package lgbtiq

“I used to be illegal and now I’m a priority!”  Phil, 93 years young, LGBTI Elder

Phil’s Backstory
Phil (not his real name) is 93 years young and wants to stay at home. He receives help from his neighbour, Helen plus his long standing friend and Enduring Guardian, Roger.  Phil’s in home care needs have recently increased resulting in two hospitalisations. Each time, the Doctors tell Phil he ‘needs to go to a Nursing Home’. This is not what Phil wants and Helen is concerned that if Phil doesn’t put a professional home nursing system, like Daughterly Care, in place his next hospitalisation will result in him being placed into a Nursing Home.

Education gives you Greater Personal Power
Helen noticed that Daughterly Care empowers Elders and seniors, their family and their significant others through free educational In Home Care Seminars. So Helen attended our In Home Care Seminar, not once but twice, on Phil’s behalf to understand what In Home Care is and how it works. Helen discovered that Phil is entitled to a Government Subsidised Home Care Package and has priority access i.e. jumps the waiting list due to his LGBTI status and lack of existing support. [This was pre-February 2017 when the Government allocated the Home Care Package to Approved Providers, rather than the Elder.]

Free in Home Care Consultation in Your Own Home
Daughterly Care visited Phil and his Enduring Guardian, Roger at Phil’s home for a cost and obligation free meeting and Robin from our Mosman Aged Care Advice Centre explained how the Government Funding for in home care services works. Daughterly Care started privately paid home nursing support services while we hunted down a Government Funded Home Care Package for Phil, free of charge.

Approved Provider breaks Government Rules Twice
As a result of Daughterly Care’s endeavours, Phil was a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) High Care Home Care Package (HCP) by Approved Provider. However during the meeting in Phil’s home the Approved Provider breached the Government rules and told Phil he cannot use Daughterly Care to provide his home nursing care. Phil asserted his rights by stating,

“but this is a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Package, isn’t it? …and I have the right to choose who provides my care” .

“Yes” they replied, it IS a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Package but we (Company S) have ‘done a deal’ with (Company O) so you can only use (Company O) to provide your inhome care.”

Phil re-asserted his rights and explained he felt comfortable with Daughterly Care and wanted Daughterly Care to provide his in-home care. Phil believed they have agreed to let him use Daughterly Care as per his 9 new rights under the Government’s Consumer Directed Care (CDC) rules.

Company O rang Daughterly Care and asked questions about Phil, the aged home care services we provide and our private nursing care role. Daughterly Care explained that under the Privacy Act we cannot answer those questions about our private care client. Company O told Daughterly Care, our private care services for Phil are cancelled as of next week. Our private nursing services cannot be cancelled by a third party. So Company O rings Phil and tells him to cancel Daughterly Care, Phil refuses to cancel his in home care services with Daughterly Care and describes Daughterly Care as “the most efficient company I have dealt with in my life”. In breach of the Home Care Package Guidelines for Approved Providers, issued by the Government, Company O withdraws the Government Funded Home Care Package they offered Phil saying “oh well, we will have to cancel the Home Care Package then”.

Daughterly Care contacts Company S’s CEO to meet and discuss the breaches of Government aged care rules, he refuses to attend.

Finally an Ethical Approved Provider who Follows the Rules
Daughterly Care hunts down another level 3 High Care Package for Phil. This time, the Approved Provider follows the Government rules and lets Phil choose his In Home Care Provider – Daughterly Care. Not only do they let Phil exercise choice, they only charge 19% per annum administration & case management fees compared to Company S and Company O’s fees which exceeded 35% p.a. for administration and case management. Daughterly Care attended the meeting and prior to the arrival asked Phil if he met any of the Special Needs criteria.

Roger looked at Phil and said “how are you going to answer this Phil?” Phil replied “I used to be illegal and now I am a priority”.  Due to our continual advocacy for Phil he was upgraded to a Level 4 Home Care Package due to his priority status.

Phil is happy living at home with family and friends visiting him.

Phil received consistent private in home care from the same known and trusted Daughterly Care Caregivers, whether he paid privately for the service or the Government pays. Helen continued to support Phil however, she also knew that the weight is off her shoulders because Phil can call Daughterly Care Community Services when he needs additional help or extra assistance.

Phil has a formal in home care system in place via Daughterly Care with access to trusted and consistent Registered Nurses or Hourly Caregivers as needed. Phil’s in home care plan goal is to stay at home for life and to improve his quality of life through reduced hospitalisations and live more joyfully.

Phil’s appreciation for Daughterly Care Live in Carers and Hourly Caregivers:

You have collected a marvellous group of women to care for us. They are all wonderful and I feel very lucky”.

At Daughterly Care, we understand that senior gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Elders are unique and fabulous individuals. That’s why we are enthusiastic to listen to your goals and document an in home care plan that we co-design to meet your private home nursing needs for support at home and to remain connected with your family, friends and community.

Daughterly Care Caregivers have received ACON education on the issues that are important for LGBTI Elders to ensure enabling elder support and appropriate personal home care and professionalism for our LGBTI clients.

LGBTI Elders can feel safe, comfortable and confident receiving home care services from Daughterly Care in their own homes. Over the last 21 years we have enabled, supported, cared for and palliated many LGBTI Elders or the parents of LGBTI adult children. We look forward to being of service to you.

Contact us now to learn more about the aged care support services we provide to older, young at heart, fabulous Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people.

“Thank you for this information. I am greatly impressed with the care Daughterly Care gives. Hilary”

Read the article: 95-year-old embraces “true self” after years of torment

Need more information? To know more about us, read why we started Daughterly Care and take a look at our services. Meet the stars of our business, our in home Caregivers and case managers and operations team.

Read unsolicited feedback from our clients. We’re always thrilled to receive such kind words.

The next step is easy … contact us for a confidential chat about your needs or to organise your, free no obligation consultation email claireg@daughterlycare.com.au or call us on (02) 9970 7333.