Meridian celebrates the extraordinary diversity of people’s bodies, genders, sexualities and their relationships.
At Meridian, we acknowledge the elders of the LGBTI+ and people living with HIV community for their resilience and determined struggle for social justice and human rights that has improved the lives of all Australians.
While many LGBTI+ and people living with HIV older people lead healthy and fulfilling lives; others are dealing with the historical legacy of past systemic marginalisation and stigmatisation.
Many older members of the LGBTI+ and people living with HIV community have experienced judgment, prejudice and discrimination during their lives. As a result of their lived experience, older LGBTI+ and people living with HIV people can be reluctant to reveal their sexuality or gender identity. Some older LGBTI+ and people living with HIV community members choose to remain in or return to the closet to feel safe. This can be particularly true when accessing aged care services.
Unfortunately, we know that LGBTI+ and people living with HIV older people have disproportionately negative mental health outcomes in comparison with the rest of the population.
Meridian is working to improve access and equity for LGBTI+ and people living with HIV elders to aged care services and supporting their wellbeing by:
- Advocating for government to provide health services and policies that meet the needs of older LGBTI+ and people living with HIV people
- Encouraging inclusive practice service delivery that not only respects diversity but embraces it
- Delivering LGBTI+ and people living with HIV awareness training to health providers, so elders feel culturally safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment
- Establishing an evidence base to document the needs of LGBTI+ and people living with HIV older people and the difficulties they face in accessing appropriate services,
- Providing professional counselling when dealing with mental health issues,
- Hosting LGBTI+ and people living with HIV community social groups to help reduce social isolation for older people.
Meridian is committed to supporting the elders of our community to live the life they choose and to ensure they have a respectful and dignified old age.