Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Growing old with style ... and care

Most talk about families on this blog is focused on kids. But of course family also includes older people – our own parents and grandparents, not to mention ourselves as we grow older. The University of Queensland has embarked on a study of older lesbian and gay people’s care networks and they are currently looking for people aged 60 years or more who would be interested in being interviewed. I have pasted some more info below:

A new study, funded by the University of Queensland, is looking at the ways paid and unpaid carers come together to provide support to older lesbian and gay people.

While much of the discussion in the LGBT community has focused on the provision of LGBT-specific residential and retirement homes, the reality is that for most older LGBT people – as with other older Australians – care will be delivered through networks of community-based providers, including unpaid carers. However, care-giving is typically understood as a family activity undertaken by opposite-sex partners and adult children. There is relatively little understanding of non-traditional care-giving relationships and dynamics, such as the care provided by friends and how friends move from social support to caring roles. In the QAHC survey, LGBT people reported that they expected to gain emotional, physical and financial support from a wide range of parties, including same-sex partners, LGBT friends, heterosexual friends, community agencies and, to a lesser degree, siblings, extended family members and adult children.

This new study, led by Mark Hughes and Sue Kentlyn, is looking at the diversity of the care networks of lesbian and gay people aged 60 and over, and how care providers respond to these persons’ sexual identity. The research involves interviews with the older lesbian or gay person, as well as their paid and unpaid carers.

Interested in being interviewed for the study?

Are you aged 60 years or over?

Do you identify as gay or lesbian?

Do you receive care or emotional support from other people in relation to a health need or disability?

If so, please contact:

Mark Hughes T: 0405 386 976, E:

Sue Kentlyn T: 3379 7273, E:

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