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​New app for older LGBTI Australians and aged care providers

SPONSORED STORY - Aged care service provider Uniting in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), has developed an app for older Australians who identify as a part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community.

The MOSAIC app supports not only older LGBTI people to better plan their ageing, but also aged care providers and frontline workers around how they can support LGBTI individuals. [Source: iStock]
The MOSAIC app supports not only older LGBTI people to better plan their ageing, but also aged care providers and frontline workers around how they can support LGBTI individuals. [Source: iStock]

The MOSAIC - LGBTI app was created through The Rainbow of Difference Project in collaboration with the LGBTI community. 

The project is funded by the Australian Government as part of their 2017 Dementia and Aged Care Services (DACS) grants program. 

It provides resources for LGBTI people, their partners, families of choice, aged care service providers and frontline workers to better understand the specific care needs of LGBTI people.

Uniting Executive Manager Ageing Practice Excellence, Lana Richards, says, "From the beginning, Uniting recognised that community engagement was critical, and this extended to vendor partners - Altura and Planet Innovation – who embraced the communities’ involvement at every stage of development. 

"This collaborative approach was imperative to ensure the content, tone, and functionality reflected the needs of community."

Many places in the world are currently celebrating Pride Month and the 17 May was International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Uniting believes both these important events are vital to inspiring all to stand up against discrimination and exclusion challenges that the LGBTI community experience.

The Rainbow of Difference project aimed to equip older LGBTI Australians to better plan their ageing journey and assist all organisations to understand and promote safe inclusive practice. 

"[The Rainbow of Difference Project] has involved substantial community collaboration and research and builds on Uniting’s commitment to create culturally safe and inclusive services for older LGBTI Australians," says Lana Richards.

The Rainbow of Difference program includes a series of learning tools and online resources for older Australians and their families, including MOSAIC. 

The MOSAIC app supports not only older LGBTI people to better plan their ageing, but also aged care providers and frontline workers around how they can support LGBTI individuals receiving aged care services.

Lana explains, "MOSAIC provides organisations and care teams the tools and resources to deliver on their commitment to create culturally safe and inclusive services for older LGBTI Australians.

"The Rainbow of Difference program, including the MOSAIC App, are highly adaptable learning and planning tools which can be used anytime and anywhere whether you are wanting to better plan your ageing and engage families of choice or equip care teams and aged care organisations with the tools to support and build safe and inclusive practices."

Some of the benefits of MOSAIC for aged care providers include:

  • Education for individuals and care teams around culturally safe and appropriate care for LGBTI people and how to foster meaningful relationships

  • Aged care providers can market their business to LGBTI communities through the platform, showcasing their inclusive care and environments

  • Provide benchmarking for where aged care organisations sit in regards to inclusiveness in the sector and guidance for building safe and inclusive services

  • Encourages aged care providers to make changes to how they practice to better support older LGBTI people

Also supporting the project and MOSAIC app is an education program called Welcoming Diversity series, which educates aged care teams on how to build their skills and provide a welcoming environment to older LGBTI people. This education program was developed in partnership with Altura Learning.

Altura Learning tools can be accessed on their online learning platform

The course empowers aged care workers to provide supportive and inclusive care to people from the LGBTI community, those living with dementia or receiving palliative care.

The MOSAIC – LGBTI app is free to download and older LGBTI people are encouraged to get the app from the Google Play store or the Apple App store.

Aged care organisations can register as a provider on the app as well.

For more information, head to the Uniting website.

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