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Building Bridges a strategy to ensure older GLBTI people are able to enjoy a rewarding quality of life. Mr Graham Lovelock Chairperson - GLBTI Retirement Association Incorporated Associate Professor Barbara Horner Director – Centre for Research on Ageing Curtin University of Technology.

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Building Bridgesa strategy to ensure older GLBTI people are able to enjoy a rewarding quality of life


Mr Graham LovelockChairperson - GLBTI Retirement Association IncorporatedAssociate Professor Barbara HornerDirector – Centre for Research on AgeingCurtin University of Technology

who and what is grai

Who and what is GRAI

GRAI was established in August 2005

GRAI is a community-based, not-for- profit organisation

GRAI aims to work with stakeholders to address the retirement and aged care needs of older GLBTI people

why building bridges
Why building bridges?
  • At present, we do not see ourselves as a retirement living or aged care provider or developer.
  • However, five years from now, that may be an option we are able to consider!
what does grai want to achieve
What does GRAI want to achieve?
  • The creation of accessible and sustainable retirement living, aged care and community services that specifically cater for the needs of older people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.
vision and mission
Vision and Mission

Older GLBTI will enjoy a rewarding quality of life.


To create a responsive and inclusive mature age environment that promotes and supports a quality life for older people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.

our values
Our Values
  • Dignity
  • Diversity
  • Respect
  • Well-being
  • Health
  • Self-worth
  • Excellence
  • Community
  • Choice
themes and priorities
Themes and Priorities
  • Capacity Building
  • Community Representation
  • Awareness and Education
  • Leadership
  • Advocacy & Lobbying
  • Service Provision
method approach
  • Activities
    • Capacity Building
      • Collect meaningful data to determine level and nature of need
      • Build membership
      • Communicate effectively with members
      • Grow financial sustainability
    • Community Representation
      • Establish membership penetration
method approach10
  • Strategies
      • Access data from 2006 census
      • Survey community to establish need
      • Articles in relevant publications
      • Build strategic alliances with other community organisations (GLBTI and non-GLBTI)
      • Target relevant events to members
      • Increase marketing literature
      • Ensure regular newsletters
      • Establish member email/web connection
      • Continuous improvement strategy for Website
      • Establish major fundraising Lawn Bowls event with corporate sponsorship “Pinking the Green!”
method approach11
  • Strategies (cont/d)
      • Member events with alliance partners
      • Annual events for members
      • Advertising on website
      • Establish sponsorship package
      • Annual GRAI public forum
      • Target quality presenters
      • Conduct targeted consultation sessions to establish the needs, interests, issues and challenges for older GLBTI people considering retirement and aged care options in Western Australia
      • Present at recognised State and National Conferences
      • Write short position papers of relevant issues for

presentation to community groups

establishing the need
Establishing the need


  • Series of 11 statements with selected responses SA-A-D-SD
  • Demographic data

sexual orientation, language, employment status, age,

  • Invitation to offer suggestions and comments
establishing the need13
Establishing the need

Focus groups

  • What are key issues
  • How well are needs currently met
  • How can GRAI affectively advocate
  • What individual commitment are individuals prepared to make
  • Summary of survey findings

Sample 143

male = 70, female = 68, trans = 3, intersex 1

Age range

> 30 = 17, 31-40 = 32, 41-50 = 46, 51-55 = 10, 56-60 = 16, 61-65 = 13, 66-70 = 5,

71-75 = 2, 76-80 = 3

summary of survey findings cont d
Summary of survey findings – cont’d
  • While only 53 were currently looking or interested in retirement accommodation/living options
    • 132 were interested in retirement options in future
    • 111 concerned about discrimination within industry
    • 114 felt their needs would not be met
  • When thinking about retirement options:
    • 95 primary consideration was financial
    • 95 primary consideration was housing style
    • 90 primary consideration was location
    • 88 primary consideration was lifestyle/recreation
    • 124 primary consideration was acceptance of

sexuality/same sex relationship

    • 43 interested for their parents

Summary from Focus Groups

  • Issues of isolation, loss of partners
  • Lack of family/informal care networks
  • Lack of support groups
  • Wish to live among non-judgmental people
  • Choices and options like everyone else
  • Aged care facilities lack accommodation options
  • Attitudes of staff need to be changed
  • Training for staff
  • Be part of integrated communities
  • Acknowledge difference and cater for wants

and needs

measurements of success
Measurements of success
  • Response
    • Analysis of qualitative data from consultations
    • Analysis of quantitative data from community surveys
    • Increasing publicity in GLBTI and wider community
    • Number of articles published
    • Paper presented at AAG in 2006
    • Sexuality Paper at ACSWA state conference in 2007
    • Number of invited presentations
    • Profile at targeted community events
  • Partners
    • Engaging with and securing sponsors for events
    • Formal regular connections with partner organisations
    • Attracting sponsorship for events
measurements of success18
Measurements of success
  • Political interest
    • Provide a reliable measure of perceived unmet need within known community
    • Estimate of unmet need from wider community
  • Numbers
    • Achieve membership targets
      • 100 members end 2006
      • 150 members end 2007
      • 200 members end 2008
    • High recruitment and retention rate
    • Website hits
    • Achieve financial targets
    • Increasing percentage of income from sponsorship, advertisements, bequests
    • Increasing (not decreasing) numbers of members
    • Increasing requests for information
    • Quantity and quality of marketing information
  • GRAI recognises there may be resistance due to ignorance, fear, denial, immaturity, community division and that this may be ‘invisible’.
  • Challenges may come from government, religious groups, the aged care sector, retirement associations, general community, local government, and other special interest groups.
  • Information will be disseminated widely, using a range of methods, and updated, through newsletters, website, journal articles, public forums, education sessions and other publications.
  • GRAI recognises that a lack of representation across a wide

sector of the community may inhibit success and will work

with like-minded groups to broaden its representation.

next steps
Next steps
  • Sexuality in Ageing paper at ACSWA 2007 State Conference:
  • Research proposal with WA Centre for Health Promotion Research (Curtin University of Technology)
  • GRAI 2007 Community Forum – “Healthy GLBTI Ageing”
  • GLBTI ageing seat on WA Ageing Taskforce