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Aged care providers support ageing LGBTI community through mobile app

The introduction of funding for a new innovative mobile app and online education platform will aim to up-skill the aged care sector to better meet the needs of the ageing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community in Australia.

App aims to up-skill the aged care sector in LGBTI needs (Source: Shutterstock)
App aims to up-skill the aged care sector in LGBTI needs (Source: Shutterstock)

Care provider Uniting has partnered with The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and has been allocated the funding for the program as part of the Australian Government’s $34 million Dementia and Aged Care Services (DACS) Research and Innovative Funding Round as announced by Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt.

Director of Practice and Quality at Uniting, Linda Justin, says the ‘rainbow tick’ accredited LGBTI friendly provider is well placed to develop and deliver this online resource.

“We’ve worked closely with industry leading organisations within the LGBTI community, including the Gender Centre, the Aids Council of NSW (ACON) and Pride in Diversity to refine our practices,” she says.

“There is great will and momentum within the sector to meet the needs of this community and to truly be LBGTI friendly but we need the right tools, training and support to do it – that’s why we initiated this project.”

The online training module as part of the online education platform will feature an interactive series, which will be broadcast on the Aged Care Channel (ACC TV) on topics including:

  • The clinical needs of the ageing LGBTI community
  • Tackling discrimination myths and stereotypes
  • The impact of legislation
  • Understanding transgender diversity and intentional and unintentional disclosure

Ms Justin says another key feature of the education package will be the innovative use of mobile app technology.

“We knew this initiative needed to be easy to use and easy to access,” she says. “Particularly for staff working in an aged care service anywhere across Australia.

“The mobile phone app will go a long way to achieve this.”

UTS will lead the project’s evaluation; something that expert aged care researcher and evaluator Professor Joanne Travaglia says is important.

“It is important we continually review and refine this program, so it is responsive and informed by evidence and good practice,” Professor Travaglia says.

“This package will enable us to build our knowledge base and refine our LGBTI specific practices sector-wide.”

The rollout of the training platform is expected by February 2018.

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