Social connectivity gives our life colour and meaning. Unfortunately our friendship circles often shrink as we age, markedly diminishing our quality of life and often leading to earlier reliance on formal aged-care services. We know that LGBTI elders are more at risk of social isolation than their mainstream peers, and less likely to want to access mainstream social groups or services. GRAI and Prime Timers (both based in Perth, WA) are working on a proposal to establish a culturally safe and sustainable social outreach program that will provide a befriending service for LGBTI elders and also strengthen bonds within the community through an enhanced calendar of events providing greater peer and intergenerational connectivity. The working title for the project is SOUL. LGBTI elders’ engagement in the development of, and on-going co-leadership in SOUL is considered a vital ingredient of this project: SOUL will be by and for LGBTI elders’ who will shape, implement and evaluate the program. This presentation will outline the processes undertaken and progress so far, including research, community engagement, and structural and funding models. Making the world a better place, together: SOUL is a work in progress, and we also invite input from othersÛª experiences.
June Lowe | firstname.lastname@example.org
June Lowe is Chair of GRAI, an NGO established in 2005 to support the rights and well-being of LGBTI elders in WA. June takes a multi-level approach to build safe ageing environments for LGBTI elders, including law reform advocacy, research on LGBTI ageing, aged sector education, and community building.
Chris Hart, President Prime Timers