Out at Home: Optimizing Quality of Care for Older LGBTQI2S Persons
What's the challenge?
Due to a history of discrimination, many older LGBTQI2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (or questioning), intersex, and two-spirited). adults avoid using formal home care services and instead turn to family and friends. Many LGBTQI2S seniors do not know how to access supportive home care services and are afraid of encountering discrimination and disrespect from homecare providers. At the same time, many homecare providers may lack awareness of the unique needs of LGBTQI2S persons and how to provide culturally affirming care to this population. Home care providers rarely receive any formal education or training regarding the health issues and needs of LGBTQI2S persons, and most have limited access to on-the-job professional training in this area.
What have we done?
We have developed knowledge translation tools to bridge the gap between research and practice to enhance the capacity of home care providers to offer culturally affirming care to older LGBTQI2S persons using art-based knowledge translation tools. Art-based knowledge translation tools are particularly effective for education and practice change as they facilitate empathy and support transformative learning, which is crucial for shifting deeply held beliefs and values. Additionally, these tools can be used to validate the experiences of LGBTQ2IS seniors in homecare, and to raise public awareness of the health issues and needs of this population.