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Opening Doors London. Working for inclusive and appropriate services for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. About Opening Doors London. Our primary aims: To reduce social isolation of older lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people

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Opening doors london

Opening Doors London

Working for inclusive and appropriate services for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Opening doors london

About Opening Doors London

Our primary aims:

  • To reduce social isolation of older lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people

  • To improve the well being and mental health of older LGBT people

  • To provide increased support for men and women from the LGBT community to remain independent and live at home for longer

  • To increase awareness of the needs for older LGBT people within statutory and other voluntary agencies

Opening doors london

London’s older LGBT population in context…

  • Population of London over state pension age 2008; 1,048,800

  • Estimated LGBT population aged 50 and over is 100,000 plus

  • An estimated btw 1,000 to 5,000 LGBT people over 50 in each Borough

Opening doors london

Why do we need to consider LGBT people in service provision?

Older LGBT people may have a greater need for health and social care services because, compared with their heterosexual peers they are:

  • more likely to live alone

  • more likely to be single

  • Far less likely to have children or other biological family support to call upon in times of need

Support needs
Support Needs

Stonewall 2011 research


Stonewall 2011 research

Establishing the need

Establishing the Need

Fear of ‘coming out’.

Many older LGBT people have lived through far less liberal times and their past experiences of homophobia and transphobia have made them understandably cautious and reluctant to access much needed services.

“I dread the day when I may need personal care, am forced to live in a communal situation or rely on others where my sexuality is a problem.”

ODL Service User 2010

Opening doors london

  • Born in 1921 he is now 91 years old

  • Moved to London at age 18 from Lancashire

  • Enjoyed a long, successful career as a History teacher

  • Lost his partner of 47 years in 2003

  • Now lives in residential care

  • Think about the socio-political climate through which Eric has lived most of his life. What Impact might this have had? What can you do to ensure your service is inclusive & appropriate for Eric’s needs?

Opening doors london

The Checklist

  • Opening Doors London decided to develop a checklist to ensure an “LGBT friendly” experience for our members when using social care services.

  • We want people to feel safe when they need to access care.

  • The Equality Act 2010 places new responsibilities on public bodies to actively tackle discrimination and harassment against LGB and T people and to consider their needs when designing and delivering services.

Opening doors london

Areas covered by the

  • Images and language

  • Liaison Officer

  • Monitoring

  • Relationships

  • Staff Management & Training & Recruitment

  • Confidentiality

  • Avoiding heterosexism

Opening doors london

Additional Support

Opening Doors has developed a training pack to support staff working directly with older clients.

This training aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the past and present obstacles faced by OLGBT people accessing services.

  • Increase understanding of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and what this legislation requires of service providers.

  • Provide the tools to give staff increased confidence in working positively with OLGBT service users and ensure equality within service provision.

Opening doors london


  • Ensure you have a clear and explicit reference to sexuality and gender identity in your equality and diversity policy which should be signed by every member of staff

  • Openly promote what you do to LGBT service users and their carers

  • Staff training & Development

  • Ensure contracted agencies/staff adhere to yourstandards

  • Consult with LGBT people on the design and delivery of services

  • Ensure that your procurement and commissioning procedures adhere to the 2010 Equality Act (regarding all 9 protected characteristics)

  • Publicise stats of the diversity of your staff team

  • ‘Come Out’ as a provider of LGBT ‘friendly’ end of life care

Opening doors london

For more information contact:Stacey HallsLGBT Campaigns & Policy 239 0447