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Rendering visible the previously invisible in health care: the ageing LGBTI communities

Carmelle Peisah, Kim Burns, Samantha Edmonds and Henry Brodaty
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (3): 106-108. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00896
Published online: 23 July 2018

Recent legislative and policy measures aim to raise awareness of the needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Ageing is often said to incur invisibility. Perhaps the most invisible and forgotten are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) elders (Box).1 This invisibility has consequences for access to health and aged care services, and the standard of mental and physical health among LGBTI elders has been notoriously lower than that of their heterosexual peers2 (https://lgbtihealth.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/SNAPSHOT-Mental-Health-and-Suicide-Prevention-Outcomes-for-LGBTI-people-and-communities.pdf). Recently, there have been efforts to redress these gaps on a legislative and policy front, supported by a number of initiatives to raise awareness. This article briefly reviews this changing area of medicine and outlines some of the implications for clinical practice.

  • Carmelle Peisah1
  • Kim Burns2
  • Samantha Edmonds3
  • Henry Brodaty2,4

  • 1 School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 National LGBTI Health Alliance, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Correspondence: cpeisah62@bigpond.com

Acknowledgements: 

We thank Peter Wojtowicz, Assistant Director, Compliance Centre East, Aged Care National Compliance Centre, for his helpful comments regarding legislation and policy reform; and Ranmalie Jayasinha for her contribution to the original concept of the article. This work comprises part of the Empowered Project, which is funded by a Commonwealth Dementia and Aged Care Services Grant.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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